The New Tour: Innovations in Place-based Storytelling

Surges in touring and tour-taking have always followed on the heels of technological innovation.  Two hundred years ago, mass-produced travel guides like Baedeker emerged in the wake of the industrialization of publishing and innovations in commercial travel, including the expansion of railroads and steam ship lines.  By the middle of the last century, advances in air and automobile travel and travel-related representations and ads in the mass media girded another surge in touring and tour-taking.  Fifteen years into the 21st century, the emergence and widespread penetration of digital technologies are poised to generate change yet again, allowing tour-takers to plug in, walk and learn.  Or is it so simple? 

The New Tour: Innovations in Place-based Storytelling brings together a range of activists, historians, artists and entrepreneurs who are engaged in pioneering new ways to design, program and disseminate place-based tours.  They are tactical urbanists, transmedia designers and storytellers, and even global activists working in a variety of locales and with a range of partners – from foundations to publishing houses to healthcare companies – but they all treat the tour as a mode of storytelling, seeking to enrich and deepen our connections to history, to place and to each other. 

How can tours be used to educate, engage, mobilize and delight? How can digital technologies augment the achievement of these ends – and conversely, when do digital technologies interfere? How can organizations effectively add digital programming? How do we measure the impact of tours? Join us to discuss these and other questions.

Featured Speakers

Michael Epstein, Founder and Director, Walking Cinema
Therese Kelly, Founder and Senior Ranger, Los Angeles Urban Rangers
Dietrich Neumann, Editor, The Campus Guide Apps and Professor of the History of Art and Architecture, Brown University
Denise Pinto, Global Director, Jane’s Walk
Marc Ruppel, Senior Program Officer, National Endowment for the Humanities
Matt Tomasulo, Founder and Chief Instigator, Walk [Your City]

Conference Details

Date & Time
September 24, 2015, 3:00pm – 5:30pm
September 25, 2015, 9:00am – 4:30pm

Dr. Mark Tebeau will be leading a hands-on workshop on curatescape, a location-based publishing platform, on September 25 prior to our lunch break.

Crystal Room, Alumnae Hall
Brown University
194 Meeting Street, Providence, RI 02906

John Nicholas Brown Center For Public Humanities & Cultural Heritage, Brown University
Advanced Applied Analytics Center, Bryant University



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