CfP: Troubling Geographies of Adventure Tourism

Call for papers for the Troubling Geographies of Adventure Tourism session, to be hosted at the forthcoming RGS-IBG Annual International Conference in London, UK between the 28th-30th of August 2019. 

Redesigning the room: Troubling geographies of adventure tourism 

Sponsored by, Geographies of Leisure and Tourism Research Group (GLTRG) 

Session Conveners: Dr Jenny Hall (York St John University) and Dr Maggie Miller (Swansea University)

Mountains like deserts, oceans, caves and jungles are increasingly sought after as adventure tourism spaces to experience sensations of risk, self-sufficiency and wellbeing (Fletcher 2014). Adventurers that participate in what Pomfret (2006) describes as ‘hard’ touristic activities (p.115), where an individual seeks to pioneer or independently experience the most remote and extreme environments, reify the heroic trope of the intrepid adventurer conquering the unknown. Since the early nineteenth-century white male middle-class explorers and adventurers have dominated adventure spaces, reproducing histories through prolific mainstream literature and film. Thus, stories of difference have been obscured by the dominant norm, rendering race, class and gender virtually absent from the discourse.

The space of adventure tourism remains an effective model of masculinity that continues to silence differences through competitive affective forces prevalent in the industry, governing bodies and national training organisations. Achieving legitimacy in adventure-based tourism and recreation requires adventurers of difference to take extraordinary risks to generate social capital (Hall 2018; Miller 2017). In doing so, they recast, resist, subvert and reconstruct identities that map new routes of experience and difference in adventure sports (Fullagar and Pavlidis 2018). However, little is known about these spaces of difference and how they are experienced emotionally, sentiently or otherwise (Hall 2018; Miller 2017). In the context of mountaineering, Sharp (2001) suggests that the underrepresentation of professional female mountaineers is a problem related to the ‘design of the room’ rather than ‘the way the door is opened’ (p. 82). In this session we call for papers that examine how inequalities are experienced and how different embodied knowledges are realised in spaces of hard and extreme adventure, inviting scholars to suggest how the room could be or should be redesigned (Sharp 2001)?

Key topics may include: adventure, tourism, affect, risk, difference.

Submissions for session abstracts (max 250) should include: paper title, name and email address. Papers are welcomed from graduates through to established scholars. Abstracts should be sent to Dr Jenny Hall ([email protected]) or Dr Maggie Miller ([email protected]) by midnight Monday 28 January 2019.


Fletcher, R. (2014) Enhancing the wild: Cultural dimension of ecotourism. Durham, NC, Duke University Press.

Fullagar, S., Pavlidis, A. (2018) Feminist theories of emotion and affect in sport. In: The Palgrave Handbook of Feminism, Sport, Leisure and Physical Education. Mansfield, L., Caudwell, J., Wheaton, B., and Watson, B. eds. London, Palgrave Macmillian, pp. 447 – 463.

Hall, J. (2018) Women mountaineers: A study of affect, sensoria and emotion. York, UK, York St John University.

Miller, M., C. (2017) An exploration of Sherpas’ narratives of living and dying in mountaineering. Ontario, Canada, University of Waterloo.

Pomfret, G. (2006) Mountaineering adventure tourists: A conceptual framework for research. Tourism Management, 27, pp. 113 – 123.

Sharp, B. (2001) Take me to your (male) leader. Gender and Education, 13 (1) pp. 75 – 86.

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