When we say that something is good, what do we mean? Do we mean excellent? Do we mean true? Do we mean that the consequences of something are good – like doing good- or that good is an intrinsic value observable in a being, an idea, an event, a product? If we say that one should strive to be a good tourism academic, which kind of work life do we imagine? How does goodness become embodied and then lived? Which kind of academic institution would be able to nurture and make possible good academic lives? In 2014, Kellee Caton wrote a chapter entitled "What Does it Mean to Be Good in Tourism?" where she reflected on how tourists construct themselves as 'ethical subjects'. Tourism researchers interested in sustainability and corporate social responsibility have for decades tried to map what makes good tourism development possible and what enhances or constrains good tourist behavior. By comparison, it is surprising how seldom we turn a similar type of enquiry towards ourselves and the tourism academy. However, how we envision, conceptualize, evaluate and reward good research, good teaching, good collegiality matters.
Specific regulations to monitor performance, management practices in recruitment and promotion, diversity and equality policies are a reflection of specific dominant discourses, and as such are political and ethical in their nature. We can see this in the evolution and meaning of higher education in general, tourism education in particular or through analyses which question the meaning of impact, meritocracy or excellence. Established norms make sense in relation to specific historical contexts and assumptions of what is considered as 'good' or 'bad' (i.e. ethical/moral considerations), and answers to these questions are far from being neutral or objective.
We invite contributions that address the questions of what is a good tourism academic and what is a good tourism academy from a series of perspectives:
- Reflections on the idea of ‘good’
- Academic ethical and moral issues
- Wellbeing, work-life balance, conflict-management, stress and academic cultures
- Understanding and questioning meritocracy, excellence and leadership
- Diversity and inclusion in higher education
- Ethical considerations in knowledge production and education
- Studies on happiness, joy and meaning in academia
- Neoliberalism and bureaucratization in academia
- Impact, metrics and quantification cultures
- Academic identities
- Emotions, affects and relationships in academia