Trans-Atlantic Dialogues on Cultural Heritage conference 2015

Last week I visited Liverpool to attend the TADCH conference jointly hosted by the Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage, University of Birmingham and the Collaborative for Cultural Heritage Management and Policy, University of Illinois.

Main lounge - Adelphi Hotel
Main lounge – Adelphi Hotel

The conference venue was the main lounge of the famous Adelphi hotel, and the conference dinner was held in an exact replica of the 1st class smoking lounge on the Titanic. There were only a couple of people at the conference who were familiar to me, Mike Robinson, one of the conference hosts (and co-editor of our Tourism and Cultural Change series) and Philip F. Xie, author of the newly published Industrial Heritage Tourism, which was a popular seller at the conference. It was great to meet so many delegates from different areas; architects, archaeologists and historians among them.

Cavern Quarter
Cavern Quarter

A trip to Liverpool would not be complete without some Beatles tourism. Every bar you walked past in the Cavern Quarter had live music pounding out which created a real party atmosphere.

Though I am somewhat ashamed (as a Manchester United fan) to admit, I experienced a very pleasant and interesting tour of Anfield  – including learning why The Kop stand is so named.

The Kop
The Kop

Liverpool is probably the friendliest place I’ve ever been to and my only regret is not going on the karaoke tuk tuk I saw on my first day there! 🙂

Sarah

Mike Robinson at the Hay Festival!

Laura at the Hay Festival
Laura at the Hay Festival

The Hay Festival of Literature and Arts is currently taking place in Hay-on-Wye, Wales and Laura and I drove up there on Wednesday to see Channel View series editor and author Mike Robinson speak. Neither of us had ever been to Hay before so we were pretty excited!

Mike Robinson giving his talk
Mike Robinson giving his talk

Mike’s talk was ‘As Readers We Tour the World’ (which links to books we’ve published in our Tourism and Cultural Change series) and it centred on ‘the way in which literature, the literary, and the idea of literary heritage feeds into our practices and performances of being a tourist’. To illustrate this, Mike focused on a lot of fun examples such as the impressions and expectations of England to international readers of Jane Austen and William Shakespeare, tourists to New Zealand to visit the ‘real’ Middle Earth and visitors searching for a fictional and undead Dracula’s grave in Whitby!

Mike speaking with his fans
Mike speaking with his fans

There was a good turnout for his talk and lots of questions afterwards, including a query on how to get more tourists to Doncaster!

There were definite perks of hanging out with one of the speakers as we got to go into the green room (though we didn’t see anyone famous we recognised) and “artists only” restaurants! We managed to get to one more talk before leaving for home – and we had a good explore of the festival – definitely worth going if you’re in the UK !

Mike Robinson is Director of the Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage, University of Birmingham, UK. 

Tourism and the Shifting Values of Cultural Heritage

Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall
Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall

Earlier this month I attended the Tourism and the Shifting Values of Cultural Heritage conference, organised by the Ironbridge Institute for Cultural Heritage, University of Birmingham and National Taiwan University. The conference was held at the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Taipei – easily the most impressive conference venue I’ve experienced!

Lee Jolliffe and Joyce Yeh in front of the CVP stand!

The conference was well-attended by Channel View authors, Mike Robinson was one of the conference convenors, and Lee Jolliffe, Philip Xie, Kevin Hannam and Rick Hallett all presented papers. There were a lot of delegates from different disciplines such as history and anthropology. A lot of the attendees remarked on the high quality of papers and I managed to get to a few of them – spices, anime and aboriginal tourism among the subjects.

Mike Robinson closing the conference
Mike Robinson closing the conference

Among the conference highlights were study visits round Taipei,  a 10-course banquet at the Grand Hotel which offered amazing views of the city, and an evening of karaoke – with some brilliant performances from delegates!

Taipei is a great city to visit – I’d highly recommend it 🙂

Sarah