Starting from Within: Memory Work as Critical Tourism Pedagogy

This paper outlines our collective analyses of our personal travel memories in order to make a broader argument about the merit of using memory-work for critical tourism pedagogy. Following Small’s groundbreaking paper (1999) we chose this qualitative approach because it centres the discussion and critical inquiry within the context of meaningful, personal experiences. Further, it provides an opportunity to add to what Wilson (2010) has modeled with regard to critical tourism pedagogy. One graduate student and one professor engaged in a critical evaluation of past memories of travel experiences. To prepare, we each wrote a story about: (a) a travel experience that involved personal growth and (b) a travel experience that led to disappointment. We then met to discuss these memories and to engage in a dialogue about how these memories and experiences were constructed and how they might be used to open up our critical reflections of tourism more broadly. While memory-work has grown in influence in tourism studies (Johnston 2001; Onyx & Small 2001; Small 1999; Small, Ateljevic, Harris & Wilson 2007; Tung & Ritchie, 2011), we argue that this can also be a useful pedagogical tool for teaching tourism in the classroom; not just for engendering discussion about key concepts in our field but also for deepening our understanding of ourselves and one another as learners and travelers.

Torabian-Mair-full-paper.pdf download View | Download
Keywords: Memory work, tourism pedagogy
Categories: Critical action in the classroom