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Performing Imagined Geographies 
Reza Masoudi Nejad (SOAS, University of London)
Tom Selwyn (SOAS)
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Tuesday 15 September, 15:00-16:30

Short Abstract:

The panel looks at the reports and performances by historic and contemporary travellers (from Heroditus to Ibn Battuta to Mark Twain to modern tourists and pilgrims to assess the extent to which they are not only shaped by the world but also actively shape it.

Long Abstract

This panel discusses the extent to which "imagined geographies" (to follow Said) shape and re-shape global, regional, and local landscapes. The reports, writings, and practices of travellers - from Heroditus to Ibn Battuta to Mark Twain to contemporary tourists and pilgrims - will be explored with a view to identifying how their differing views of the world have taken part in the shaping of global power relations, regional divisions and alliances, and local constructions of identity. In short, the panel invests travellers with active force in reshaping global, regional, and local political geography. It seeks to illustrate/inform this theoretical framework with detailed ethnographic examples ranging from the negotiation of urban landscapes to the shaping of meaning in pilgrimage sites to the formation of global dispositions about the politico-economic geography of the world.

Accepted papers: