Recent years have seen an explosive growth in the phenomenon of people visiting locations from popular novels, films or television series. Places of the Imagination presents a timely and insightful analysis of this form of media tourism, exploring the question of how best to explain the increasing popularity of media tourism within contemporary culture. Drawing on extensive empirical and interview material, this book examines the representation of landscapes in popular narratives that have inspired media tourism, whilst also investigating the effects over time of such tourism on local landscapes, and the processes by which tourists appropriate the landscape, experiencing and accommodating them into their imagination. Oriented around three central case studies of popular television detective shows, famous films and classic literature, Places of the Imagination develops a new theoretical understanding of media tourism. As such, it will appeal to sociologists and cultural geographers, as well as those working in the fields of media and cultural studies, popular and fan culture, tourism and the sociology of leisure.
Stijn Reijnders is Associate Professor in Cultural Heritage, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands
'Stijn Reijnders has produced a lucid and engaging book with a fresh perspective. I had no idea the media (fictional literature, television, film) inspired so much tourism; now I have been introduced to some wonderful illustrations. Informed by a strong theoretical framework, employing the concept of lieux d’imagination, Reijnders nevertheless recognises the physical reality of places. I shall refer to this book in my teaching, using it as the key source for new lectures on media tourism.' Karen O'Reilly, Loughborough University, UK 'This book is a remarkable testimony to the popular culturist slogan, ’popular culture IS culture’. Through careful on-ground empirical observation, it relates how a variety of popular vehicles from the United kingdom and Europe have generated tourism and tourist culture fandom... The great strength of the ethnographic method is its emphasis on fieldwork, and it is in the reports of field observations that the detail of how media tourism adds layers onto the cultures studies that this work makes its most vivid contribution. Walking in step with the media pilgrims, Reijnders was able to catch a glimpse of how this dialectic between the fictitious and the real enables fans to stay culturally connected... This book serves well to bridge the gap that often opens up between theoretical treatises on culture and abstracted empirical researches. The author has produced an engaging ethnographic presentation that should inspire additional walks in places of the imagination.' International Social Science Review