Karlsruhe provides the opportunity to talk critically about tourism, tourist practices and traversing spaces in October of this year at the "Touring Consumption 2013" conference hosted by Karlshochschule International University. Embracing an expansive notion of mobilities and travel, the conference aims to "confront spatial, performative and cultural interrelations between tourism and social/economic behaviour" in order to discuss the complexities which might be involved in concepts of "touring consumption".
The call for papers for Touring Consumption 2013 have closed but registration is still available on their website. It will feature around thirty speakers, some interactive workshops and a "surprise tour", along with three keynote speakers: prolific academic in mobilities and theories of tourism John Urry, human geographer Jørgen Ole Bærenholdt and sociologist Steve Miles, all of whom closely engage with cultures and theories of consumption in their critical writings.
For further details on the conference outlines, refer to the website. Co-organiser of the conference Desmond Wee has also been interviewed by Patrick Breitenbach on a Karlsdialoge podcast (found here), in which he talks about his approach to tourism analysis generally, suntan lotion, fake beaches, couch-surfing and AirBnB, as well as the conference aims and a handful of other related subjects.
"... one of the things this conference tries to do is to look at the notion of practice: how tourism is practiced; how it moves; how we look at flows of information; flows of people. ... It's about representations also, but it's how representations evolved ... How ideas are co-produced and reproduced; how new meanings emerge. This conference tries to put that in perspective, and [investigate] how different spaces are being consumed."