This month we published Tourism and Souvenirs by Jenny Cave, Lee Jolliffe and Tom Baum. We asked Jenny to tell us a little about her inspiration for the book.
Souvenirs mark the identity of travellers and are ubiquitous ways that people share their experiences of travel with others, whether they are purchased at home to take to travel destinations or are purchased away from home. My background in heritage, museums and operational realities of the cultural industries has meant that I have developed an interest in material culture, which I share with my co-editors Lee Jolliffe and Tom Baum. I am also a weaver and come from a family of artist/producers so that this interest in material heritage crystallises around the challenges earning an income based in cultural and local natural resources.
As lead editor I also share some common academic interests and backgrounds with my co-editors. Both Lee Jolliffe and I are graduates of the Masters of Museum Studies (formerly Masters of Museology) at the University of Toronto (Canada). Lee and I share a common interest with Tom Baum in Island Studies and tourism, and I had the opportunity to visit Lee in both New Brunswick and Barbados to start some joint research there on souvenir purchases by cruise passengers, which while not specifically reported on in the book, influenced the development of my own co-authored chapter on souvenirs at a New Zealand Cruise port.
My co-editors, Lee Jolliffe and Tom Baum and I have worked with the developmental aspirations of many cultural communities around the world so have experienced first-hand the complex phenomenon of souveniring production, marketing, distribution and purchase processes. The unique glocal focus of the volume is a logical extension of our collective experience and profoundly different significations that are born of local and global place and identity, yet there are also commonalties when you compare locations and cultures. Tom’s participation in the project was pivotal to extending the reach of the research into the hospitality arena and in framing the concepts in the initial chapter.
Personally, as lead editor I felt that it was important to raise the unconsciously expressed mutual influences that tourist purchasers and producers have on each other. Further, I wanted to get beneath the surficial view of souvenirs and repeated emphasis on a handful of key authors that appear in this literature, and to push the boundaries of understanding of the tourism as a sustainable industry, exploring this issue through the lens of souvenirs, providing a new foundation for future research.