Accepted Paper:

Books on culture as souvenirs of cultural adventure  


Maria Cardeira da Silva (CRIA NOVA FCSH)

Paper short abstract:

I will take two different settings in touristic contexts to approach «books on culture» as a type of souvenirs: 1) airport and other crossroad bookstores in touristic sites (as those located close to the medina in North African cities) and 2) the ancient libraries of the desert in Mauritania.

Paper long abstract:

Bookstores and libraries some times raise in cultural carrefours. Usually tourists with cultural interests purchase travel guides and «cultural shock books» before going some place and «books on culture» when they came back to its «own place». Bookstores in airports, and other located in touristic places, sell «books on culture» which help tourists to interpret or re-interpret their lively experiences and remembrance of different places.

The ancient libraries of the Desert in Mauritania, once born as a result of trade routes and pilgrimage pathways, became nowadays touristic attractions, pretending to epitomyse cultural tolerance and understanding. Althought the old books of these libraries can not be read or understood by foreigners, they become a clue for cultural indulgence and respect in the performances that their guardians enact for tourist audiences.

Panel W093
On 'Souvenir': experiencing diversity, objectifying mutuality