Publics versus professionals: agency and engagement with 'Robin Hood' and the 'Pilgrim Fathers' in Nottinghamshire

Scott, Anna (2012) Publics versus professionals: agency and engagement with 'Robin Hood' and the 'Pilgrim Fathers' in Nottinghamshire. In: The cultural moment in Tourism. Routledge Advances in Tourism . Routledge, London, pp. 131-158. ISBN 9780415611152

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Cultural tourism in the rural English countryside of Nottinghamshire centres on two contrasting narratives, both of which can be deconstructed to varying degrees into elements of myth, legend, history and heritage. ‘Robin Hood’ draws in the crowds once again with the release of an eponymous Hollywood blockbuster . As a counterpoint, the region as the original home of the ‘Pilgrim Fathers’ attracts a more consciously self-selecting, and targeted, touristic group from across the United States.

The mobilisation of heritage in this region through tourism initiatives and local authority agendas manufactures opportunity for cultural moments. These narratives are embraced and made manifest through ‘re-enacted’ performance around a symbolic tree in the case of Robin Hood, and a trail taking in the imaginings of the lives of religious Separatists over 400 years ago, latterly mythologised in American heritage legend. Research into local attitudes to heritage reveals a complex backdrop to these touristic engagements, with individual agency and personalities playing crucial roles in shaping the heritage agenda. The cultural moment is embodied according to knowledge and interest in heritage, with contrasting engagements broadly aligned according to the ‘popular’ and the ‘niche’, each catered for in an asymmetrical fashion. Both sit within a complex web of performance, negotiated meanings, intention and outcomes; moments are experienced differentially across the spectrum of performers from audience to narrator (where roles can become reversed through engagement), but in a nuanced and individualised manner. This chapter examines heritage in relation to the film, and touristic engagement and performance at various events through participant observation, exploring a cultural moment inextricably intertwined with its social, economic and political concomitants.

Keywords:heritage tourism, heritage, heritage studies
Subjects:V Historical and Philosophical studies > V271 International History
N Business and Administrative studies > N800 Tourism, Transport and Travel
Divisions:College of Arts
ID Code:16522
Deposited On:23 Jan 2015 10:27

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