In 2005, the Critical Tourism Studies (CTS) network was founded to provide a space of sharing and connection for those seeking to create positive social change in and through tourism scholarship, education, and practice. The dreamers behind CTS—Irena Ateljevic, Nigel Morgan, and Annette Pritchard—worked to establish an inclusive environment that would help to legitimize the critical school of thought in tourism studies and create space for alternative voices.
In 2015-2016, we are proud to build on this legacy, bringing the seeds of criticality, inclusivity, passion, and hope for better tourism futures across the pond, with the establishment of a North American chapter of Critical Tourism Studies.
We are excited to announce our inaugural event, the first CTS North America (CTSNA) conference, to be held in 2016 amid the late-summer beauty of Ontario’s lake country. In creating this chapter, we hope to make engagement with CTS even more accessible to North American academics, but we also hope our colleagues from around the world will be able to join us and share in this founding event.
In addition to CTS’s groundbreaking work in providing a home for academics and others involved in social change through tourism to gather, discuss, debate, collaborate with, and support one another, the network has also been characterized from the beginning by a special sort of atmosphere.
In short, as expressed so well and often by the network’s founders, CTS has not been afraid to constitute itself as a gathering grounded in love, joy, and hope—love of scholarship, love of colleagues and students and the communities with which we research, joy in our work and our collaborations with each other, and joy in the sense of purpose that comes from working toward realizing the better world we hold hope for creating.
Thus, we extend a special invitation to CTSNA to students, early career academics, and others who seek a respectful, non-intimidating, friendly, and energizing space to share their work.
By seeking robust debate and constructive critique (but without judgment or belittling), and by celebrating the value of our work (but outside the framework of egoism and competition that often characterize scholarly lives), we can be the change we want to see in our academic world, as we simultaneously work for meaningful change in the larger world we serve.
Please join us in Ontario in 2016!