NS 29 PhD Seminar

Shaping mobile futures: Challenges and possibilities in precarious times

PhD seminar in conjunction with the 29th Nordic Symposium on Tourism and Hospitality Research
20-21 September 2021 


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Course information:

Credits: 5 ECTS.

Workload: About 150 work hours.

Level: PhD.

Semester: Fall 2021.

Entrance requirements: Enrolment in a PhD program in tourism or related fields and a synopsis/draft paper of 1000 words, due September 13th (on Canvas).

Course requirements: Extended abstract of 1000 words (due September 13th), obligatory attendance in the on-line sessions 20.-21.9.2020 including peer review of a submission by a fellow student and a revised text of 3000-5000 (due November 15th).

Depending on where you are in your PhD you have the following options for drafting your submission;

a) research proposal

b) working paper or a chapter for a PhD monolog

c) manuscript for an academic publication (article or chapter)

d) manuscript for an article or chapter disseminating research to the general public

Language of instruction: English.

Course venue: The Canvas teaching and learning environment are used for the course. Assignments are submitted on Canvas following a full registration of students. Online sessions will be run on Zoom. Course coordinators: Professor Guðrún Helgadóttir gudrun.helgadottir@usn.no, Assistant professor Ingibjörg Sigurðardóttir inga@holar.is , Adjunkt Magnús Haukur Ásgeirsson mha@hi.is .

Course contributors: Professor Edward H. Huijbens, Wageningen University, The Netherlands; Outi Rantala, Associate professor, Responsible Arctic Tourism, University of Lapland; Professor Trude Furunes, Chief Editor Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research.



The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted global sustainability issues of a precarious world in turbulent times. The business models of the tourism industry, destination planning and management and ways of being tourists do not hold for the future. Everyday discourse directs attention towards global risks and crises, calling for transdisciplinary innovations and smart solutions. Academics face a broader mandate than ever to serve not only in academia but also in business, governments and grassroots in the search for a sustainable future.

This is a PhD course about research and methodology, academic traditions and the transformations of contemporary discourses in an era of alternate understandings of truth and the importance of evidence in the face of global crises. To address this the course uses one key concept; sustainability, one structure; the publication system and one practice; life in academia.

Researchers engaged in inter- and transdisciplinary projects encounter powerful voices that call into question the validity and applicability of academic knowledge, proposing alternate truths. The traditional structure of publications as a system may undermine transformations in the public discourse on knowledge production and the application of research challenges young researchers to examine the epistemological enterprise and the ontological premises it rests on.

Academic integrity, the trends and traditions, the politics of research, inclusions and exclusions from the academic community, in short the nature of academic freedom and the role of the tourism researcher need constant reflection. It is a matter of sustainability to engage in public, professional and academic discourses as well as to create a democratic academic culture of integrity and inclusion. This is more than ever a matter of urgency.


Course outline:

Monday September 20th

9:00-10:00 Introduction and welcome

10:15-11:00 Presentation from Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism on publishing: Trude Furunes, Chief Editor

11:15-13:00 Peer review session in break out room with fellow students and instructor

13:15-14:00 Plenum session on peer reviews

18:00-19:00 Dinner online


Tuesday September 21st

9:00-10:00 Keynote commentaries on trans-disciplinary research on tourism sustainability

10:15-11:00 Epistemology and life in or out of academia: Transferable skills of PhDs. Guðrún Helgadóttir professor University of South-Eastern Norway

11:15-12:00 Closing remarks



1. Peer review of a fellow student submission due September 20th

2. Final paper of 3000-5000 words due November 15th




Testimonials from former participants at the PhD seminar in Hólar:

Patrick Brouder Vancouver Island University British Columbia Regional Innovation Chair (BCRIC) for Tourism and Sustainable Rural Development:

"Holar is the ideal location for a PhD seminar. The intimate campus setting is a perfect place for meaningful dialogue, both formal and informal, between the senior researchers leading the seminar and the students taking part in it. The quiet setting also affords students the time and space for study and reflection on the academic activities all the while inspired by the vistas of the Icelandic countryside."

Stian Stensland, associate professor Norwegian University of Life Sciences:

"The PhD seminar at Holar was a really nice experience both academically and culturally. The organizers got the chief editors from Annals of Tourism and Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism to the PhD seminar which was a boost for us PhD-students. Culturally if was rewarding hearing about the history of the University going almost a thousand years back, its remote location, the scenery and barren landscape and the neighboring community."


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