Stijn Reijnders visiting professor at Karlstad University in Sweden

Portrait of Stijn Reijnders

Recently, prof.dr. Stijn Reijnders was welcomed as visiting professor at the Centre for Geomedia Studies at Karlstad University, Sweden. Stijn is full professor of Cultural Heritage, specialised in tourism and popular culture at the Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication (ESHCC) in Rotterdam and his research is focused on the intersection of media, culture and tourism. “The research conducted at Karlstad University has been inspiring for us here in Rotterdam,” says Stijn, “as we are also an interdisciplinary research environment that weave together history and media with art and culture.”

One of Stijn’s main research foci is media tourism, which involves people traveling to particular places characterised by their connection to popular culture. “It’s a form of niche tourism where media, popular culture and tourism meet. Tourists love these places, because they are so strongly connected to fictional stories. It's also interesting to see what happens with these places when they become popular due to exposure in popular culture.”

As visiting professor, Stijn says he hopes “to learn more about how Karlstad University promotes interdisciplinary and cross-border research collaborations. I like that way of working. I also hope to learn more about the various research projects currently being conducted at Geomedia.”

Inaugural lecture

On 11 October at 15.00-16.30, Stijn will give his inaugural lecture: “Stories that move: Fiction, tourism & imaginative heritage”. This lecture focuses on media tourism: people travelling to places associated with film, TV-series, games or other forms of popular culture. In order to investigate the roles and impacts of the multiple stakeholders that are involved in this booming phenomenon, the term ‘imaginative heritage’ is introduced. In particular, Stijn refers to the multitude of popular, fictional narratives that have been projected upon or appropriated by specific sites throughout time and that together make up an important part of local place identity. As Stijn will argue, imaginative heritage results from an active involvement of not only locals, fans and tourists, but also the media industries, the tourism industries and the local governments.

By addressing the power configurations behind these heritage and tourism practices, he aims to contribute to a more holistic understanding of media tourism and, more in general, the reciprocal nature of the relation between fiction, heritage and place.

Related content
Prof.dr. Stijn Reijnders received a Proof of Concept grant from ERC for his proposal Setting the Scene.
Picture of Dubrovnik (Croatia)

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