Show/hide main menu


7AAICC44 International Heritage and Cultural Tourism

Module convenor: Dr Ruth Adams

Credits: 20

Teaching pattern: Ten one-hour lectures and ten one-hour seminars

Module description:

Heritage and tourism are increasingly important concepts in cultural and environmental policy, diplomacy, place attachment and marketing (at the national, regional and local level). This module looks at both the theory and practice of heritage and tourism across a range of academic disciplines, which critically analyse the discursive and material practices of both, and the cultural assumptions and power relations which underpin them. It considers the various ways in which heritage and tourism might be regarded as both inextricably linked and irreconcilable (in the tension between preservation and 'visitability', for example) drawing on illustrative examples from around the world. 

Draft teaching syllabus

 1. Heritage – Definitions and Debates

2. Cultural Tourism – Issues & Approaches

3. International Heritage: UNESCO & World Heritage

4. Site Visit &/or Guest Speaker - Heritage

5. Constructing a National Heritage

6. Site Visit &/or Guest Speaker - Tourism

7. Popular Culture & Heritage: Sport and Leisure Tourism

8. Digital Heritage & Online Tourism

9. The Cultures of Tourism

10. Heritage & Tourism Case Study Based Workshops

Module aims

This module aims to introduce students to both historical and contemporary debates about heritage, and to illuminate how definitions and techniques of heritage reflect the societies that produce them. The module familiarises students with a number of key concepts in and theoretical approaches to heritage and tourism, and applies these to a range of case studies. Students will be encouraged to explore and develop their own examples and critiques.


  • Students will develop a theoretical, methodological and empirical framework for understanding heritage and tourism policy and practice.
  • Students will be able to critically evaluate the contested term 'heritage' in relation to other key terms and paradigms.


  • Students will be able to communicate theoretical concepts both orally and in writing, integrating the appropriate literature to support their positions.
  • Students will be able to identify, develop and test case studies of heritage and tourism politics, policies and practices.
  • Students will be able to write essays that reflect a critical and scholarly engagement with the terrain of heritage and tourism and related scholarly approaches.

Learning outcomes


By the end of the module, students will be able to demonstrate practical and intellectual skills appropriate to an MA - level module.

Knowledge and understanding:

Understand key debates concerning heritage politics, policy and practice, critically evaluating the various paradigms that have been used to define and understand heritage.

Understand and analyse heritage focusing on various case studies, examining the narratives, institutions and power relations that underpin them.

Intellectual Skills:

This module will enhance students' critical faculties by providing them with practical academic skills for the processing of knowledge and research that will also aid them in their future careers, and will encourage them to think creatively and critically about contemporary issues relating to international heritage.

Practical Skills:

Students will develop analytical and professional research skills in this module for the purpose of understanding the heritage sector in an international context. These learned skills will be tested in the course by means of a summative 3000 word assessed essay, and 1000 word assessed oral presentation, and in a formative manner via students' seminar participation.

Generic/Transferable skills:

This module will enhance students' analytical, communication and writing skills, and prepare them for the work they will eventually conduct in the creative and cultural industries sectors. Students will learn how to communicate complex issues both orally and in writing. They will also be able to draw on their knowledge to analyse and critically engage with a range of contemporary cultural phenomena.

Core reading

  • Bandarin, F. & Labadi, S. (eds.) 2007, World Heritage: Challenges for the Millennium, Paris: World Heritage Centre
  • Butler, R.W. and Pearce, D., 1995. Change in tourism: people, places, processes. Routledge.
  • Cameron, F. & Kenderdine, S. (eds) 2007, Theorizing Digital Cultural Heritage: A Critical Discourse, Cambridge Mass. & London: The MIT Press
  • Dallen, T. 2011, Cultural Heritage and Tourism, An Introduction, Bristol: Channel View
  • Fairclough, Harrison, et al. (eds.), 2007, The Heritage Reader, London: Routledge
  • Graham, B. & Howard, P. (eds.), 2008, The Ashgate Research Companion to Heritage and Identity, Farnham: Ashgate
  • Harrison, D. & Hitchcock, M. 2005, The Politics of World Heritage, Negotiating Tourism and Conservation, Clevedon: Multilingual Matters
  • Hewison, R. 1987, The Heritage Industry: Britain in a Climate of Decline, London: Methuen
  • Howard, P. 2002, Heritage: Management, Interpretation, Identity, London: Continuum 
  • Leask, A. & Fyall, A. 2006, Managing World Heritage Sites, Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann
  • Lew, A.A., Hall, C.M. and Williams, A.M. eds., 2008. A companion to tourism. John Wiley & Sons.
  • Lowenthal, D. 1998, The Heritage Crusade and the Spoils of History, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 
  • Minca, C. and Oakes, T. eds., 2006. Travels in paradox: Remapping tourism. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
  • Rojek, C., 1997. Touring cultures: Transformations of travel and theory. Psychology Press. 
  • Samuel, R. 1994, Theatres of Memory, London: Verso
  • Shepherd, R. & Yu, L. 2013, Heritage Management, Tourism & Governance in China: Managing the Past to Serve the Present, London: Springer
  • Smith, L. 2006, Uses of Heritage, London: Routledge
  • Smith, L. J. & Akagawa, N. 2009, Intangible Cultural Heritage, London: Routledge
  • Smith, M.K. and Robinson, M. eds., 2006. Cultural tourism in a changing world: Politics, participation and (re) presentation (Vol. 7). Channel view publications.
  • Smith, V.L. ed., 2012. Hosts and guests: The anthropology of tourism. University of Pennsylvania Press.
  • Urry, J. & Larsen, J., 2011, The tourist gaze 3.0. London: Sage Publications.
  • Van Den Berghe, P. L. 1994, Quest For The Other: Ethnic Tourism in San Cristobal, Mexico, Washington University Press
  • Walsh, K. 1992, The Representation of the Past: Museums and Heritage in the Post-Modern World, London: Routledge
  • Waterton, E. & Watson, S. (eds.), 2011, Culture, Heritage and Representation: Perspectives on Visuality and the Past, Farnham: Ashgate
  • Wright, P. 2009, On Living in an Old Country: The National Past in Contemporary Britain, Oxford: Oxford University Press


1 x 10 - 15-minute Audio-Visual presentation euqivalent to 1,000 words (25%),

1 x 3,000 word essay (75%).

Students are reassessed in the failed elements of assessment and by the same methods as the first attempt.

 The modules run in each academic year are subject to change in line with staff availability and student demand so there is no guarantee every module will run. Module descriptions and information may vary depending between years.

Sitemap Site help Terms and conditions  Privacy policy  Accessibility  Modern slavery statement  Contact us

© 2020 King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS | England | United Kingdom | Tel +44 (0)20 7836 5454