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Supported by the Society for Latin American Studies (SLAS)

Organised by the Centre for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS)

Keynote speakers: Professor Claire Lindsay (UCL) and Professor James R. Akerman (Newberry Library)

Download full Programme (pdf)

Since the late nineteenth century, travel in pursuit of pleasure has grown to become one of the world’s largest industries. International tourist arrivals are currently predicted to reach 1.8 billion in 2030, despite the ongoing disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic (UN World Tourism Organization). As rail networks, steamer services, and private motorcars became commonplace into the twentieth century, tourists were able to access a variety of unfamiliar locations, including beaches, foreign cities, and mountain resorts. In the Americas in particular, numerous early tourist offerings foregrounded the ‘cathedral of nature’ in lieu of a classical archaeological past. With many of these grand landscapes located in Indigenous territories, far from metropolitan centres and their wealthy inhabitants, tourism often provided states with a means for annexing border regions or cementing their presence in frontier spaces. It also offered an opportunity for cultivating notions of national identity via what Marguerite S. Shaffer has termed ‘virtuous consumption’ (2001), whereby domestic tourism is portrayed in the cultural sphere as a civic duty. Alongside the success of national parks and mountain retreats, locations including slaughterhouses, oil derricks and gold mines became important destinations where visitors could witness technological and industrial prowess, features that were commonly highlighted in marketing materials to divert the tourist gaze away from the damage and pollution that they cause.

Today, many of the world’s most popular tourist destinations are located in the Americas, from Machu Picchu, to Cancún, to Niagara Falls. ‘Climate, Capital and Tourism in the Americas’ seeks to examine how landscapes or specific sites in the Americas have been commodified in both domestic and foreign contexts, illuminating the manipulation and/or exaggeration of climate, flora, and fauna data in marketing campaigns, literature, and visual media, and connecting these discourses with the climate crisis and Indigenous dispossession. This interdisciplinary conference will provide a forum for academics studying any region of the Americas with a focus on tourism, while also inviting contributions from the heritage sector. Our particular aim is to bridge the gaps between humanities and social sciences scholarship in this field. This event will also facilitate essential dialogue at a time when many institutions are seeking to reassess heritage tourism in light of growing calls for environmental justice and land reparations.

Download full Programme (pdf)

All are welcome to attend this free conference being held online, starting at 13:00 BST (UK Time) on Wednesday 29 June 2022. (Please be sure to check your local time). You will need to register in advance to receive the online joining link. Please click on the Book Now button below to register.

A pre-conference film screening of 'Cuba: Vivir entre ciclones | Cuba: Living Between Hurricanes' will take place on Tuesday 28 June at 16:00 BST (UK Time). To register to attend this film screening and to find out more go to:

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on participating in an online event (pdf)

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