Tourism History Working Group | College of Arts

Tourism History Working Group

The Tourism History Working Group (THWG) was established in 2006. Bringing together scholars at the University of Guelph and beyond, its objectives are to promote exchanges between students and faculty whose research explores any dimension of the history of tourism, in any place. It sponsors a seminar series at which research is discussed, and it provides a framework for graduate-student training, in the context of allied student-faculty research projects. The Tourism History Working Group has provided a critical framework for scholarly collaboration, notably co-supervision of theses world experts and Dr Kevin James, and active interdisciplinary participation in research.

We strongly encourage student collaboration and participation in funded research, and we provide a collegial and stimulating environment to support graduate studies. We also offer competitive financial support, including the Alastair J. Durie Research Travel Grant to support tourism and travel research.


THWG projects include:

  1. A project examining trans-national dimensions of Irish tourist development, which is part of a wider analysis of the history of Irish tourism, 1885-1914 focussing on inns, hotels and visitors' books directed by Prof. Kevin James.
  2. An exploration of living history museums. This is part of a wider examination of the intersections of heritage tourism and public memory, led by Prof. Alan Gordon.
  3. A study of the ways non-human animals have factored into the creation and display of regional identities and tourism promotion through an analysis of the development of bucking bulls and broncs in North American rodeos since the 1870s, led by Prof. Susan Nance.
  4. A study of non-institutionalized youth travel, hitchhiking and hosteling in the 1970s, led by Prof. Linda Mahood;
  5. A project on British hotels during World War I, led by Prof. Kevin James, examining hotels in different areas of the United Kingdom and the impact of war on their uses and operations.

All these projects have received funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Additionally, Dr Eddy Rogers was affiliated with the project as a post-doctoral researcher in 2009-10.


Graduate Work:

Several scholars have received MAs within the framework of the Working Group since its establishment in 2006.

Fergus Maxwell

Seizing the Horizon: Co-operative Tourism and the Production of Picturesque Space (2019)

Mike Postiglione

"Our enemy of yesterday is our bénéficiaire to-day": An Investigation of German Hotel Workers in London, 1914-1930 (2018)

Nick Bridges

“Curious Caverns”: Cave Tourism in Nineteenth-Century Ireland (2017)

Jon Barraball

The Peregrinations of Lugless Will: The Travel Narrative of an Early Modern Pilgrim (Thesis, 2016)

Evan Tigchelaar

“[T]he gospel according to St. Andrews:” Golf and Tourism at the Seaside in late Victorian Co. Donegal, Ireland (Thesis, 2015)

Alex Clay

Travelling to Write Ireland and the Irish: Leitch Ritchie’s Reportorial and Picturesque Gaze (Major Research Paper, 2013)

Wade Cormack

Little Red and Black Books: Black's and Murray's Guidebooks to Scotland, 1850 to 1914 (Thesis, 2013)

Monica Finlay

'Of all the places of holiday resort within the British Isles, commend me to Strathpeffer’: A Case Study of Spa Development and Destination Promotion in Victorian Scotland (Thesis, 2011)

Christopher Quinn

The Irish Villages at the1893 World's Columbian Exposition: Constructing, Consuming and Contesting Ireland in Chicago (Thesis, 2010)

Erica German

’The Castle is Tolerably Well Seen from the Top of the Coach’: Tracing the Royal Imprimatur from Balmoral and its Impact on the Touristic Development and Cultural Geography of ‘Royal Deeside,’ 1848-1922 (Major Research Paper 2009)

Shannon O’Connor

The St. Andrew’s Society of Toronto: Scottish Associational Culture in the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries (Major Research Paper, 2008)


WE EXTEND... an invitation to anyone interested in the activities of the THWG, and particularly to graduate students with research interests in tourism history, to contact us about working with the THWG. For information, please contact Prof. Kevin James: