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Dr Pau Obrador Pons

Senior Lecturer

Department: Newcastle Business School

I am a senior lecturer in tourism and events management at Newcastle Business School. Before joining Northumbria in 2015, I held lectureship positions in Human Geography at the University of Exeter (2004-2006) and tourism at the University of Sunderland (2007-2015). I completed my BA in Sociology (1998) at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) and a PhD (2004) in Human Geography at the University of Durham, under the supervision of Mike Crang.  

My research interests lie at the intersection of tourism, place, culture, body and management. Underpinning my work is a post-disciplinary concern for the centrality of tourism and events within contemporary societies as well as the significance of humanities and social sciences concepts and skills for tourism policy and management.  I have researched and published on a variety of issues including tourism theory, family tourism, embodiment, the beach, coastal and mass tourism, tourism policy, transformative festivals, critical pedagogies and research rich learning

I am the module tutor for the Undergraduate dissertation and various tourism and events modules. I have extensive experience in program leadership, program design and evaluation.  I am a senior fellow of HEA, a member of the editorial board of Tourist Studies and the Menorca Research institute

My personal interest include running, yoga, literature, cinema, travelling and of course a trip to the beach.

Pau Obrador Pons

Campus Address

Room 212, City Campus East,



Qualifications

  • Geography PhD April 01 2005
  • Sociology BA (Hons) May 25 1998
  • Senior Fellow (SFHEA) Higher Education Academy (HEA) 2015

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

My research is positioned at the intersection of tourism, place, culture, body and management. It is widely credited within tourism studies for its conceptual and methodological innovations and in particular for repositioning tourism in light of post-structuralist thinking. Underpinning my work is a post-disciplinary concern for the centrality of tourism and events within contemporary societies as well as the significance of humanities and social sciences concepts and skills for tourism policy and management.   My key research interests lie in five key areas:

My highest impact publications examine the significance of homeliness, familiriaty and the everyday in tourism . My main contribution in this area is the development of Heidegger’s notion of dwelling in tourism,  which was published in Tourist Studies in 2003. I have also developed theoretical constructs that are sensible to the familiar character of tourism in a article for Annals for tourism research. I am currently working on an article on caravan homes with sharon Wilson and on a project on the cultivation of homeliness in the sharing economy within the context of oturism

Another important concern running through my work is the nature of embodiment in tourism, focusing in particular on haptic articulations of the sensible. My work on the beach is credited to be one of the first to explore the sensibilities of touch in tourism. In 2007 I published “A Haptic Geography of the Beach: Naked Bodies, Vision and Touch” in Social and Cultural Geography, and in 2009 “Building Castles in the Sand: Repositioning Touch on the Beach” in Senses and Society. I also have a book chapter in Touching space, Placing touch

A third area of interest is my research on island and coastal tourism. My work in this area, which spans from emotional geographies of the beach to tourism policy, focuses on mass tourism and its impact on Mediterranean Modernities. In 2009 I co-edited a book on Cultures of Mass Tourism, which sets out to demonstrate the cultural significance of mass tourism as well as the significance of mass tourism to mass culture. I have also published a short paper on sustainable tourism policies in the Balearic Island, which I am planning to develop further.

My fourth and most recent theme is concerned with the transformative nature of cultural events.  I recently published an article in tourist studies on the transgressive potential of Invented rural traditions in Mallorca with Antoni Vives. I have been involved in various artistic projects that explore the creative and transformative qualities of travel and tourism. I have a short paper in Cultural Geogrpahies on Tactical Tourism with Sean Carter and a chapter on the Nomadic Village project with Sharon Wilson.

My final research interest is in critical pedagogies and research rich learning. I have recently published an article in Hospitlaity & Society that presents a student-led pedagogical innovation that enacts hospitality as a critical tool. This article builds on a longstanding interest in creative forms of learning that break with the classical transmission model as well as critical thinking, which I have explore mainly within the context of fieldtirp practice. I am currently developing new research oppoortunities in this area.

Key Publications

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • A Freegan Pop-up Café, Obrador Pons, P. 1 Mar 2020, In: Hospitality and Society
  • Festive traditions and tourism in Mallorca, Vives Riera, A., Obrador Pons, P. 1 Mar 2020, In: Tourist Studies
  • The end of sustainability? A note on the changing politics of mass tourism in the Balearic Islands, Obrador Pons, P. 2017, In: Journal of Policy Research in Tourism, Leisure and Events
  • The Place of the Family in Tourism Resarch: Domesticity and thick sociality by the pool, Obrador Pons, P. 2012, In: Annals of Tourism Research
  • The nomadic village, Wilson, S., Obrador, P. 1 Dec 2013, Travel, Tourism and Art, London, Ashgate Publishing Ltd
  • Touching the Beach, Obrador Pons, P. Oct 2012, Touching Space, Placing Touch, Farnham, Ashgate
  • Cultures of Mass Tourism: Doing the Mediterranean in the Age of Banal Mobilities, Obrador Pons, P., Crang, M., Travlou, P. Sep 2009
  • Building Castles in the Sand: Repositioning Touch on the Beach, Obrador Pons, P. 2009, In: The Senses & Society
  • A haptic geography of the beach: naked bodies, vision and touch, Obrador Pons, P. 2007, In: Social and Cultural Geography
  • Being-on-holiday: Tourist dwelling, bodies and place, Obrador Pons, P. Apr 2003, In: Tourist Studies


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