Knowing with nature – The future of tourism education in the Anthropocene
Growth in international tourism contributes to, and is formed by, the ongoing climate and environmental change. This contribution is visible especially in the Arctic, known for its natural phenomenon, silence and pureness. Indeed, tourism characterizes the epoch of Anthropocene – the historical moment when the humanity has become a geological force capable of affecting all life on this planet (Braidotti 2013, 5; Gren & Huijbens 2015, 2). While the impacts of tourism on atmospheric, geologic, hydrologic, biospheric and other Earth system processes are evident, it is also obvious that tourism as human-based system is sustained by the natural world.
Tourism education, and the knowledge that is produced within the tourism curricula, can to a certain degree be hold accountable for the conflicting and fragile relationship between tourism and the Earth. On one hand, tourism programs tend to emphasize the management and domination of nature for the sake of hedonistic tourist experiences. On the other hand, the search for sustainable ways on developing tourism has contributed to maintaining the artificial division between culture and nature, human and environment. Hence, it is timely to discuss the ways in which tourism education might reproduce a kind of knowledge that remains disconnected from the more-than-human world.
The task for tourism educators in the Anthropocene is no longer to promote knowledge that contributes to minimizing the impact of tourism on the natural environment. Rather, our task ahead is to support students in developing knowledge that is based on more sensitive entanglements between the Earth and humanity. With this in mind, we invite participants to critically evaluate the status quo of tourism education, and to think about avenues for collaborative ways of knowing with nature. We warmly welcome you to join us for a reflexive, thought-provoking, innovative and inspired four days of talks and discussions around the future of tourism education in the Anthropocene, in the beautiful scenery of Pyhä Fell in Lapland. We invite contributions related to the following themes:
- Tourism’s entanglements with the Earth systems
- Multiple understandings of the Anthropocene
- Ethics of care in more-than-human world
- Posthuman theory in tourism education
- Ethical Epistemologies in more-than-human world
- Methodologies for knowing with nature
- Approaches to human-nature relations in tourism
- Disrupting culture-nature division in tourism education
- Activism via education
- Re-invigorating TEFI values in the Anthropocene
- Tourism futures with nature
- Engaging nature in the urban
- Collaborative and sustainable journeys to TEFI
- Engaging nature in overtourism
- Nature in collaborative and alternative tourism economies
We are committed to supporting publication opportunities based on the extended abstracts and outcomes of the conference, in the form of a journal special issue and an edited book related to the future of tourism education in the Anthropocene.