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The Magic of Other in Tourism and Travel: A Live Stream Skype Video conference

17 September 2011, 13h-15:22h (Central European Summer Time) followed by online discussion

Open Access Live Broadcast at:

The Magic of Other in Tourism and Travel
In analogy to ritual practices observed by anthropologists in various parts of the world invoking and renewing the mythical groundings of social life in society, modern tourists seem to find a mythical alter ego in spaces and people morally and ontologically removed from everyday life. These ‘Others’ which variably appear in form of exotic people, distanced pasts, and sublime natures do a priori not exist per se, but are contextually and situationally configured through tourism and the societal realms from which tourism emanates. What are the stories, mythical worlds and powers evoked and brought alive by these Others? How do they inform, or translate into, tourist practice and the development of attractions? What moral orders do they imply? What social relations, and what forms of society does tourist practice induce at a wider scale?

The conference aims to explore the relations between Self and Other in the specific intersubjective field of tourism. Self and Other are considered here in a dynamic and processual way, as co-constitutive entities that delineate and reappropriate, colonize and bewitch each other; that posses, inhabit and ultimately maintain each other. Magic represents a central overarching concept. It is used in a phenomenological perspective, as a (culturally/historically informed) means for social actors to make sense of specific qualities or powers ascribed to social ‘Others’, able to effect reality. While the workshop engages with the anthropological literature on magic, it inverses its classical anthropological and common sense signification: magic is not within exotic or marginal people or places, but within modernity from which the concept originally emanated and through which it continues to shape ideas and forms others – precisely as “magical”.

Presentation Format and Technical Requirements
The conference builds on outcomes of the international conference, Tourism and Seductions of Difference, held in Lisbon, Portugal in September 2010. Each speaker will give a short 10 minute presentation exploring a particular realm of Other that emerges in the field of tourism practice. The papers will focus on the central narratives defining such realms and the means by which these are mobilized in actual tourism practice (e.g. through architecture, itineraries, objects, food, staged performances, theatrical invocations, bodily immersion, the acquisition of souvenirs, talking, etc.).

The conference will take place within the virtual space of a Skype video conference live streamed at At a technical level, speakers will be added to a Skype Video Conference and present their papers online. Speakers need to add TOCOCU to their Skype contact list (by 13 Sept at the latest). They will need a webcam and headphones (to avoid sound problems). Questions and answers will be managed through the chat facility of the live streaming web page. Anyone who wishes to participate in the Questions and Answer session needs to create a chat name at the live stream webpage (takes 1 minute to do). The discussion will continue at the Open Anthropology page of the Tourism Contact Culture Research Network. The conference will be recorded and be made available for further views. It is open access.

The event is organized by the Tourism Contact Culture Research Network (TOCOCU). More information can be found at the TOCOCU website, To contact the organizer, please email David Picard, CRIA/FCSH-UNL, at piccccc (at)

Programme (preliminary, version 2.0/130911)

All times in the programme refer to Central European Summer Time (Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam, Madrid, Rome). Speakers and participants from outside this time zone (e.g. Portugal, UK, Russia, USA, Argentina, Brazil, China, Australia, Indonesia, etc.) please check the corresponding times in their time zone.



‘’The Magic of Other in Tourism and Travel’’, David Picard, CRIA- New University of Lisbon, Portugal


‘’The Magic of the (Dancing) Body (in Cuba)’’, Valerio Simoni, Lisbon University Institute, Portugal


‘’The Magic of Flow (in Belize)’’, Ken Little, York University, Canada


‘’The Magic of Place (Eastern Europe)’’, Mathilde Verschaeve and Hannah C. Wadle, Manchester University


 ‘’The Magic of the Poor’’, Fabian Frenzel, University of the West of England, UK


‘’The Magic of Nature’’, Simone Abram, Leeds Met, UK


Break to breath, check the bathroom, coffee machine etc.


‘’The Magic of Wild Animals’’.  Gaetano Mangiameli, University of Bologna, Italy


 ‘’The Magic of the ‘White Man’ (among the Mursi of Southern Ethiopia)’’, Tamas Regi, Sheffield University, UK


 ‘’The Magic of the Guest (in Tunesian couchsurfing practice)’’, Sonia Buchberger, SOAS, UK


 ‘’The Magic of Modernity (among Madagascar fishing populations)’’, David Picard, CRIA- New University of Lisbon, Portugal


 ‘’The Magic of the Miniature”, Paula Mota Santos, Fernando Pessoa University, Portugal

15:22-open end

Chat discussion between presenters and audience on the live stream webpage. Participants are free to start further discussions on the Open anthropology page of the TOCOCU network.