Tourism, Sports, and Politics in the 19th-21st Centuries

The seminar explores how, from the 19th to the 21st centuries, tourism intersected with diplomacy and politics, sports and sporting events, consumerism, and social identity. Its participants examine, among other topics, gender roles in travel, the Olympic games, the production of travel guidebooks, border crossings, state planning, and environmental policies in Central and Western Europe as well as in British and Dutch colonies. Originally planned for October 2020, this seminar is taking a different form due to the pandemic. Its first component was a keynote lecture by Gundolf Graml (Professor of German Studies at Agnes Scott College in Atlanta/Decatur, GA), which took place online on October 30, 2020. Presentations by graduate students and discussions with faculty facilitators will follow in spring 2021.

In his lecture, “Tourism and the 75th Anniversary of the Austrian Second Republic: An Interdisciplinary Approach,” Professor Graml explored how tourism shaped the formation of the Second Austrian Republic from 1945 to the present. Tourism’s prominent status in postwar Austria, Graml argued, can only partially be explained by the sector’s economic relevance. Tourism has impacted the political, social, and cultural narratives of postwar Austria in ways that reach far beyond the economy. The talk traced interdisciplinary perspectives on tourism developed in history, ethnography, literary studies, and cultural studies and engaged in close readings of selected postwar Austrian cultural texts and scenarios. Analyses of films such as Der Hofrat Geiger and 1. April 2000; of the 2009 historical exhibit Linz – Kulturhauptstadt des Führers; and of the 21st-century Sound of Music revival in Salzburg laid the ground for further discussions of the role of tourism as a matrix for historical and cultural analyses. 

The seminar brings together nine graduate students and recent PhD recipients and five faculty facilitators:

group photo seminar

Jose Alonzo (University of Guelph, Canada)
Josef Djordjevski (University of California San Diego)
Stephanie Eisenhuth (Leibniz Center for Contemporary History, Germany)
Emma Hooghwinkel (Radboud University, the Netherlands)
Felix Jeschke (Ludwig Maximilian University, Germany)
Jérémie Magnin (University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland/University of Guelph, Canada)
Alexander Langer (University of Colorado)
Aimée Plukker (Cornell University)
Abraham Seda (University of Minnesota)

Sune Bechmann Pedersen (Associate Professor, Lund University)
Gundolf Graml (Professor, Agnes Scott College)
Kevin James (Professor, University of Guelph)
Jessica Pearson (Assistant Professor, Macalester College)
Igor Tchoukarine (Assistant Professor, University of Minnesota)

For more information about this seminar, please contact Professor Igor Tchoukarine at