Critical Event Studies in the UK and Australia: lost in translation or one voice?

Open Panel Discussion  (Everyone is welcome!)
Organised by the Event Studies SIG of CAUTHE  (with call for contributions to IJEFM Special Issue)
Date: Wednesday, 8th February; Time: 2pm-3pm
Location: CAUTHE 2017 conference – University of Otago, Dunedin, NZ; Venue: St David (room TBC)


Associate Professor Leonie Lockstone-Binney

Panellist’s topic

What is critical thinking in the context of event studies? What are critical studies? Has the study of events and its related research reached a stage of criticality?

A review, comparison and discussion of Event related studies in the UK and in Australia (with insights from these and other CAUTHE member countries invited).

 The Panel (Drs J. Ali-Knight, K. Holmes, J. Mair & M. Robertson)

The panel members draw on their extensive experience of HE course management, teaching and research in the subject area. They each also draw on their respective experiences of HE provision of Event Management education in both the Australia and the UK environment.   

Associate Professor Jane Ali-Knight

Dr. Jane Ali-Knight is an Associate Professor in Festival and Event Management at Edinburgh Napier University, Scotland. A recognised academic she has presented at major international and national conferences and has published widely in the areas of wine tourism, tourism, festival and event marketing and management. Programme Leader for the highly successful industry collaborative ‘Destination Leaders Programme’, she is also currently a board member of BAFA (British Arts and Festivals Association) and a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts and the Higher Education Academy.

Associate Professor Kirsten Holmes

Dr Kirsten Holmes is an Associate Professor in the School of Marketing at Curtin University. Her research interests include events, leisure, sport, tourism and volunteerism. She has published widely in not-for-profit journals and is the author of ‘Managing Volunteers in Tourism’ (Elsevier, 2009) and co-editor of ‘Event volunteering: International perspectives on the event volunteering experience’ (Routledge 2014). Her research has been funded by the Australian Government’s Office of Learning and Teaching, the Australian Research Council and the International Olympic Committee. She is a member of Volunteering Western Australia’s research committee.

Dr Judith Mair

Dr Judith Mair is a Senior Lecturer in Event Management in the Tourism Cluster of the UQ Business School, University of Queensland, Australia.  Her research interests include the impacts of events on community and society; consumer behaviour in events and tourism; the relationship between events and climate change; and business and major events. She is the author of ‘Conferences and Conventions: A Research Perspective’ and ‘Events and Sustainability’, both published by Routledge in 2015 as well as over 30 academic papers in internationally recognised journals.

Dr Martin Robertson

Dr Martin Robertson is Senior Lecturer in Event Management at Bournemouth University, UK, and Honorary Fellow, Victoria University, Melbourne. He had led degree programs in Australia and in the UK. He has published, edited and co-edited extensively in the areas of event tourism, festival and event leadership, events and future studies and festival sustainability. He is Co-Chair of the CAUTHE Event Studies Sig, the UK Regional Editor of Event Management – an international journal, Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and Director (Board of Governors) of B-Side Festival, Weymouth

 The discussion – an introduction

The number, form, extent and purpose of organised events has grown rapidly. So too over the last the years there has been a rapid rise in the number of Event Management subject specific Higher Education programs, academic and industry publications and student numbers – both in Australia and in the UK. With this momentum, the last few years have also seen an increasing number of publication querying the state and stage of Event Management, Event Studies and related subject areas.

In November, 2016, the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA), the independent body entrusted with monitoring and advising on standards and quality in UK higher education released new subject benchmark statement for, respectively, Events, Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism programs. Not only did this mark a clear recognition of the separate intentions and needs of Event Studies, independent and coexistent with Tourism and Hospitality, it makes clear the requirements of critical enquiry, that is both subject specific and multidisciplinary.

Despite this opening of the subject, a dichotomy remains. That is, practical and strategic operations (management) and an ‘other’.  This meeting offers opportunity for some lively discussion introduced and facilitated by the panel members. These are the basis of a special Issue of International Journal of Event and Festival Management to which we anticipate contributions from many at CAUTHE 2017. The call for papers will first be made at the open panel discussion meeting.  


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