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Critical Tourism Studies and The World: Sense, Praxis, and the Politics of Creation

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Over the past decade Critical Tourism Studies (CTS) has endeavored to create a better "tourism world" while also drawing attention to tourism's "worldmaking" force. However, the question of "the world" itself has escaped the critical lens of CTS. Reading Jean-Luc Nancy's philosophy of the world alongside Jia Zhangke's 2004 film The World, this article aims to develop an open and emergent sense of the world for CTS to consider. We do this in four parts. First, we introduce Nancy's "sense of the world" as always already in creation through our immanent relations with one another. Secondly, the relationship between world, creation, and praxis is addressed. Through a close reading of the emancipatory praxis and critical pedagogy common to CTS, we question the underlying assumption that the world comes into creation only when it is named, represented, and negotiated. Thirdly, we speculate on how an alternative "praxis" might unfold once this reconsidered sense of the world is taken into account. With the help of an exemplary long take scene in The World we detail three key features that give texture to Nancy's idea of the world as praxis: relationality, exposure, and spacing. We conclude by returning to the end of the film, or its "opening," in an effort to open up unfamiliar routes to reinvigorate the critical and creative agenda that underpins CTS.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 15, 2018

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  • The aim of Tourism Analysis is to promote a forum for practitioners and academicians in the fields of Leisure, Recreation, Tourism, and Hospitality (LRTH). As a interdisciplinary journal, it is an appropriate outlet for articles, research notes, and computer software packages designed to be of interest, concern, and of applied value to its audience of professionals, scholars, and students of LRTH programs the world over.
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