Keynote Speaker : Lucie K. Morisset : A just role for tourism: from cultural narratives to the right to heritage. Historical overview and research avenues
The increase in tourist numbers in certain places that have become "destinations" has recently brought to the forefront the old paradigm of destructive tourism. Here and there, people denounce not only the invasion of living environments and the transformation of urban functions according to tourist expectations, but also the destruction of heritage through the alteration of its authenticity. Such an assertion, based on the original purity of a true, factual and unchanging heritage, is either simply xenophobic or downright positivist, and contrasts with the recent epistemological conquests of the human sciences, carried out in the light of a critical perspective.
In fact, while the discourse on tourism – let us call it authorized tourism discourse, to draw a parallel with the authorized heritage discourse of critical heritage studies – still rarely goes beyond the economic indicators put forward by the actors of the industry to justify their activities to the public authorities, a closer examination of the interrelations between tourism and the territories that host it, through the lens of heritage, brings to light varied and profound effects, established in the long term. By approaching these transformations through historic and recent examples from Quebec City (World Heritage Site since 1985), this keynote aims to reflect on ways of thinking about the role of tourism in the formation of meaningful territories today. Against the backdrop of a "right to heritage" that we would like to put forward in order to contribute to the rebalancing of power in a post-industrial context, we will question how, in concert with critical heritage studies, critical tourism studies could contribute to a more just control of tourism as an agent of social and territorial transformation.
Morisset is Chairholder of the Canada Research Chair on Urban Heritage, a professor
in the Department of Urban and Tourism Studies of the School of Management
Sciences at the Université du Québec à Montréal, and a researcher at the CELAT
(Centre de recherches – Cultures – Arts – Sociétés).
A historian of urban planning, trained in the history of architecture and anthropology and specializing in the study of the city and its representations, she is interested in the history of ideas and objects that make up the built landscape and works with heritage as an agent of change. More generally, her work addresses the relationship between identity and culture as manifested through discourses on the built environment, tourism practices and conceptions of heritage. In recent years, her research has focused on company towns and the role of heritage in local development, particularly in the context of deindustrialization, as well as, from a more theoretical perspective, on the transformation of heritage processes and the epistemology of heritage studies.
Lucie K. Morisset is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.