Engagement and Performance: created identities in steampunk, cosplay and re-enactment
As part of ongoing research into costumed communities, I’ve just submitted a book chapter for inclusion in The Cultural Moment in Heritage Tourism: New perspectives on performance and engagement. Edited by Laurajane Smith (Australian National University, Australia), Emma Waterton (University of Western Sydney, Australia), and Steve Watson (Principal Lecturer, Business Management (Marketing & Tourism), York St. John University, UK) and to be published by Routledge, the book
- will explore the interactions of people with places, spaces, intangible heritage and ways of life not as linear alignments, but as seductive ‘moments’ of encounter and engagement, performance and meaning-making which are constitutive of cultural experience in its broadest sense. Our book will aim to explore and map the cultural encounters in heritage tourism as events that capture and constitute important social relations involving power and authority, self-consciousness and social position, gender and space, history and the present. These insights will also explore the consequences they have for our understanding of ‘heritage’ and its management in the context of tourist activity.
The chapter ‘Engagement and Performance: created identities in steampunk, cosplay and re-enactment’ explores the dynamics of created identities in historical and fictionalised realities and the role of museums in those constructed realities. One of the things that I wanted to investigate was how steampunks, cosplayers and historical re-enactors construct their identities. The aim was to establish the moment of meaning-making and notions of perception and authenticity.
I should hear back about whether the chapter has been accepted early next year – fingers crossed and watch this space!