Introduction: Eastbound

  • Tom Selwyn University of London
  • Irena Weber University of Primorska & University of Ljubljana


As Chiara Cipollari, the author of one of the papers in this journal, observes, there has been markedly less social scientific study of the history and present state of tourism in central and eastern European countries than there has been of those regions in western Europe and the Mediterranean that have traditionally been the focal geographical points of reference for studies of historical and contemporary post-war tourism. Given that some of the papers in this volume originated from the 2008 conference of the European Association of Social Anthropologists held in the University of Ljubljana, the convenors of the panel ‘Eastbound’ (i.e. the editors of this edition of Anthropological Notebooks) felt it appropriate to retain
the panel’s title whilst being aware that the ‘East’ which it denotes is not, of course, a geographical term. Had the conference been held in Beirut, for example, the panel might have been entitled ‘Westbound’ – which does raise several interesting questions! Nevertheless, whilst signalling that the issue of what is ‘East’ and what is ‘West’ is a discussion to be had, or joined, at another time, we have chosen to continue to use what are more or less conventional terms for the parts of the world covered by the papers. Thus the volume’s centre of gravity is still taken to be Central and Eastern Europe (specifically the Dalmatian coast of Slovenia and Croatia, together with Romania, and Czechoslovakia) although the compass has been extended to the two additional ‘Eastern’ sites of Palestine in the eastern Mediterranean and Odessa in the Baltic.