Critical Hospitality Studies continues to gain momentum both in academia and aligned to current world affairs and events. Critical hospitality scholars have and can add much to the debates around what constitutes hospitality and how this could function within societies, communities, workplaces and among individuals. Pushing the boundaries of the concept to move beyond a focus of hospitality as only concerned with commercial transaction and a management paradigm, this symposium seeks to extend and critically debate hospitality by crossing both academic and sector silos.

This symposium is driven by a multi-disciplinary perspective to understand hospitality; a focus that has been embedded in the journal Hospitality & Society since its launch in 2011 (Lynch, Molz, McIntosh, Lugosi & Lashley, 2011).  The concept of ‘hospitality’ is employed by various disciplines as a way of investigating contemporary issues in society, in addition to being investigated as a phenomenon in its own right, for example, in domains of commercial, private and public hospitality. The study of hospitality is truly a multi-disciplinary phenomenon. At this pivotal stage, it is important that scholars from different disciplines converse – not only through multi-disciplinary journals such as Hospitality & Society – but also in person. Such conversations are necessary to help build the networks required to develop the theoretical foundations and realize the conceptual power of hospitality and, ultimately, to understand better the nature and possibilities of the phenomenon. Accordingly, we invite scholars from all disciplines concerned with usage of hospitality as a conceptual tool to participate, as well as those concerned with the study of hospitality in action. We are keen to develop cross-disciplinary dialogue and we encourage contributions from colleagues working in anthropology, business and management, cultural, film and media studies, design, education, events, gender studies, geography, health and welfare, history, hospitality, information technology, language and literature studies, philosophy, politics, sociology, sports and leisure studies, tourism, as well as related fields.

The theme of the 2nd Critical Hospitality Symposium, to be held at Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand, from 2-4th July 2018 is ‘Hospitality is Society’. This theme aims to raise critical debate about the myriad of ways in which hospitality is society, and the different ways of theorizing, understanding and sustaining hospitality toward social change for the future. In David Bell’s article in Hospitality & Society (2012), he reminds us that, conceptually, hospitality serves both as a means of understanding society and as a specific area of social analysis. It can represent ‘the things that make society happen’; the ‘throwntogetherness’ and relational, moral, affective and interpersonal encounters in different settings that build and maintain society.

As a vehicle to bring together scholars from across a range of disciplines to trace out aspects of hospitality across various aspects of society, we invite contributions exploring the themes below.

  • Critical perspectives in hospitality education, pedagogy, careers and global citizenship
  • Gender and hospitality
  • Global, international, national and civic hospitality interest
  • Hospitality practices, food, identity and culture
  • Hospitality, public health and care
  • Hospitality as welcome; advocacy, faith, compassion, inclusion
  • Hospitality across borders; mobility, migration, displacement, refugees
  • Hospitality space and place
  • Hospitality, human rights and social marginalisation
  • Hospitality as ethics; life politics and ‘being with’
  • Hospitality, art, therapy
  • Manaakitanga and indigenous worldviews
  • Moving beyond/outside Western hospitality perspectives
  • Sustainability, Corporate Social Responsibility and hospitality
  • Technology and hospitality for the future
  • The hospitality workforce; sustainability, diversity and critical hospitality management
  • The language and discourses of hospitality
  • Other critical perspectives of hospitality


Bell, D. (2012). Hospitality is Society. Hospitality & Society, 1(2): 137-152.

Lynch, P., Molz, J., McIntosh, A., Lugosi, P. & Lashley, C. (2011) Theorizing Hospitality, Hospitality & Society, 1(1): 3-24.

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