‘Touch the Sky: the Hippie Trail and other forms of alternative tourism’
The History Research Unit at the University of South Wales is organising a two day conference dedicated to the Hippie Trail and related forms of alternative tourism.
Dates: 11-12 October, 2013
Venue: Cardiff Story Museum, The Old Library Trinity St, Cardiff, CF10 1BH
One of the last great expressions of alternative tourism in the twentieth century, the hippie trail to Morocco, Afghanistan, Nepal, India and other points east, flourished between 1957 (when Jack Kerouac published his influential road narrative On the Road) and 1978 (when the Iranian Revolution closed the land route from Europe to India). North American and European travellers used VW vans, motorbikes and Land Rovers to travel East. Their exploits quickly became a media cliché: in popular consciousness, knowledge of the hippy trail is still based mainly on stereotypical stories and images. Hard facts are more difficult to ascertain. Who were these travellers? What was the catalyst for their journeys? What routes did they take? What forms of transport did they use? What impact did they make on the local population, and vice versa? What was the scale of this movement? What is the enduring legacy of these alternative forms of tourism?
We invite proposals on the hippie trail or related topics raising analogous questions concerning power, globalization and cross-cultural encounters. Possible topics include: spirituality and tourism; discussion of relevant key texts; sites of alternative tourism (e.g. Glastonbury Tor, Stonehenge, Père Lachaise Cemetery, the Alhambra Palace, the Buddhist statues at Bamiyan); sites of religious tourism and pilgrimage (Lourdes, Jerusalem, Mecca); ecological tourism; tourism, imperialism and Orientalism; the economic impact of various forms of tourism.
At the end of the conference we intend to hold a round table discussion in which ex-travellers will share their experiences.
Please submit proposals as a single file (.doc, .docx, or .pdf) including your name, institutional affiliation (if appropriate) and email address, as well as the title of your contribution, a note on whether you prefer to contribute to a panel of academic papers or to a roundtable discussion, and an abstract of approx. 200 words to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com by June 14th, 2013.