Yesterday EiT celebrated four books by four female authors that we feel changed tourism and today we will introduce a further four as part of a series celebrating Academic Book Week. Yesterday, we celebrated autobiographical writing alongside other forms and any celebration of this type would not be complete with acknowledging the work of Professor Gillian Rose. In 1993, Gillian’s book Feminism and Geography: The Limits of Geographical Knowledge was released, the book highlighted the masculinism inherent within geography, an argument which would be adopted and adapted by tourism scholars. Rose’s arguments have also contributed to research which privileges the emotional in seeking ways to break free of disciplinary norms. By the end of the book, Gillian admits that she too may be guilty of working within the same framework she critiques, which is part of the brilliance of the book. This is an invaluable book for academics attempting to disrupt the discipline of tourism.
One woman author who perhaps did challenge the traditional gendered order of tourism is Frances Brown, who was the editor for Tourism Management between 1987 and 1996. Frances’s book Tourism Reassessed: Blight or Blessing was published in 1998 and built on the work of Cynthia Enloe in order to situate tourism within the wider frame of international relations. The number of university courses that list this book as required reading speaks volumes for the accessibility of the text. As researchers of tourism, it is easy to become hypercritical of the industry, but the balanced viewpoint in the text is one that we can all refer to in order to critically but fairly evaluate and appraise tourism.
Regina Scheyvens’s 2002 book, Tourism for development: Empowering communities offers a more positive perspective on tourism. In fact, the book highlights how tourism can promote positive forms of development, Regina reminds us of our own biases when she asserts that for some people even an income from a job considered ‘women’s work’ or low skilled is of extreme value. Again the accessibility of the text contributes to its citability, and I am yet to see a presentation on tourism and development that does not cite this work.
The final text today is one that has not been published yet, but I believe it is set to change how e write our books and change tourism in the near future. Dr. Stroma Cole’s latest edited book Gender Equality and Tourism: Beyond Empowerment includes women’s stories alongside more traditional research articles. Storytelling is becoming increasingly acknowledged as a method to change opinions and beliefs, and as academics, we should ask ourselves who we want to talk to and how best to do that.