Volume I – No. 4 – December 2004
Our second annual meeting in Dearborn was a memorable event, and those of you who were not present can only get rid of the awkward void in your professional life by preparing to come to our third conference in York. Colin Divall, Chair of the Local Organizing Committee, faces a big challenge organizing an event that equals the splendid work Bruce Pietrykowski and his team performed in Dearborn.
We will publish a comparison of Dearborn with the previous year’s conference in Eindhoven in the next newsletter. For now, I would like to thank all members who expressed their trust in the EC and the president by their voting: I take this as a signal that we are on the right track of making our association into the scholarly meeting place of mobility and transport historians, and many related fields as well. We are also giving young scholars the opportunity to play an important role in our organization.
One of the heart-warming results of our second survey (the results of which will also be published in our next newsletter) are the remarks of urban planners and other non-historians, present in Dearborn, who clearly feel very much at ease in our midst. This brings me to the most urgent topic for 2005: the expansion of our association. Two-thirds of all respondents to our Dearborn survey indicated Tourism History as the best direction in which to expand T2M. At York, we are preparing for a plenary session in which representatives of the Tourism History Group will be invited to discuss common fields of interest with a delegation of T2M’s EC. I have prepared a discussion document with two well-known tourism historians, John Walton and Laurent Tissot, for circulation among the Tourism Group.
Both our groups are more or less of equal strength: when we started T2M we worked on the basis of a “market” of a couple of hundred, but we decided to start with an association on a fee paying basis designed to build a solid foundation for organizing an annual conference. The Tourism Group works differently: they also have a couple of hundred supporters, but they don’t have a paid membership. Like T2M, they have organized two conferences, with similar turnout. The main difference, however, is that T2M is affiliated with a peer reviewed journal, the Journal of Transport History.
To prepare for closer cooperation with tourism historians, the EC in Dearborn decided to send a T2M delegation, consisting of Hans-Liudger Dienel and myself, to a business meeting of the Tourism Group in Paris in March 2005, to discuss closer cooperation. The theme of the York event, “Tourism and the history of transport, traffic and mobility,” warrants that our audience will be well equipped for such a discussion.