Archaeology, Colonialism, and the History of Tourism

An international conference (online) organized by Vera-Simone Schulz and Gerhard Wolf (Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut)

Cover design of the guidebook La Libia turistica (Milan: Prof. G. De Agostini, 1938)

Following a previous session at the Australian Archaeological Association Conference in 2020, this online symposium focuses on entanglements between archaeology, colonialism, and the history of tourism across time and space, with case studies from the Mediterranean to various locales across the African continent and the Atlantic, and from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific. It discusses the role of archaeological expeditions, the staging, communication, instrumentalization, and touristification of archaeological sites during and after colonial rule. It interrogates intersections between natural and cultural heritage, the role of infrastructure, accessibility, and the interplay between sites nearby cities and in remote locations. It sheds new light on the appropriation, shaping, and re-shaping of landscapes, on the role of urbanization, excavated and newly erected architecture, on the role of musealization processes, guidebooks, and on the creation of tourist itineraries between various sites. The conference investigates how specific visions were and are being created, thereby paying particular attention to the diverse media used to convey these visions. It analyzes what, in contrast, was and is meant to be rendered and to remain invisible, and it examines disruptions of these processes. Unpacking the epistemic and physical violence connected to many of these archaeological sites, the conference is a platform for multiple voices, and seeks to show the potential of studies of archaeology, colonialism, and the history of tourism in their local and global intersections, superimpositions, and stratifications.


All times are CET (Italian time)


Wednesday, December 1, 2021

3:15pm Gerhard Wolf (Florence) Welcome

3.30pm Vera-Simone Schulz (Florence) Introduction

Chair: Vera-Simone Schulz (Florence)

4pm Pamila Gupta (Johannesburg): Balcony, Door, Shutter: Baroque Heritage as Materiality and Biography in Stone Town, Zanzibar

4:45pm Emily Donaldson (Montpelier, Vermont): Stepping Carefully: Heritage Tourism and Sacred Lands in the Marquesas Islands

5:30pm JC Niala (Nairobi): Community Action Research: A Methodology to Transform Archaeology Based Tourism on the Kenyan Coast


Thursday, December 2, 2021

Chair: Janet Purdy (Chicago)

10am Celmara Pocock (Toowoomba): Erasure, Displacement and Reinscription of Indigenous Histories in Australian Tourism Landscapes

10:45am Tracy Ireland (Canberra) and Charlotte Feakins (Sydney): The Ethics of Visibility in Kakadu National Park: Visualizing the Aboriginal Past through Heritage, Archaeology and Tourism

11:30am Catherine Namono (Johannesburg): Masking Colonialism, Sanitising the Indigenous: An African Perspective on Archaeo-Heritage Tourism


Friday, December 3, 2021

Chair: Gerhard Wolf (Florence)

10am Noel Hidalgo Tan (Bangkok): Archaeology, Nationalism and Tourism in Southeast Asia

10:45am Panggah Ardiyansyah (London): (re)Constructing an Ancient Borobudur: Beauty and Sacrality Imagined, and the Ambiguities of Access to a “Buddhist” Temple

11:30am Rahmia Nurwulandari (Jakarta): “Europa in de Tropen“: Colonial Tourism and Urban Culture in Bandung


- Lunch Break –


Chair: Nicole Remus (Kampala)

3:30pm Kathleen Sheppard (Columbia): Baedeker’s Archaeology: Archaeological Tourism in Alexandria

4:15pm Brian McLaren (Seattle): Tourism, Heritage and Race in Colonial Libya

5pm Heba Abd el Gawad (Cairo/London): The Many Egypts


Monday, December 6, 2021

Chair: Hiba Ismail (London)

10am  Suha Hasan (Stockholm): Sudan’s Madonna: From KRT to NYC

10:45am William Carruthers (Norwich): Creating Nubia: How Colonialism, Tourism, and Archaeology Made a Region, a Past, and a People

11:30am Ray Mutinda (Nairobi): Tracing the Roots of Kenya’s Tourism: An Archaeological and Colonial Dimension


Monday, December 13, 2021

Chair: Abidemi Babatunde Babalola (London)

11am Afamefuna Paul Eyisi (Nsukka): The State of Tourism in Nigeria: Past, Present and Future Possibilities

11:45am William Narteh Gblerkpor (Accra): Entangled Landscapes: Archaeology, Colonialism, and Tourism in Ghana


01 – 13 December 2021

This event will take place online.

To participate please register in advance via Zoom:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. 


This event will be documented photographically and/or recorded on video. Please let us know if you do not agree with the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz using images in which you might be recognizable for event documentation and public relation purposes (e.g. social media).


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