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World-leading researcher on tourism in areas of conflict to take up professorial appointment


Leeds Beckett University has appointed Dorina Buda as Professor of Tourism Management in the School of Events, Tourism, Hospitality and Languages.

Professor Buda is the author of Affective Tourism: Dark Routes in Conflict – offering a new way of theorising tourism encounters bringing together, critically examining and expanding three areas of scholarship: tourism, emotional and affective geographies, and conflict and peace studies.

Professor Buda, who is the first female tourism professor in Leeds, will take up her position on Thursday 1 June. She joins Leeds Beckett from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, where she is currently working.

Professor Rhodri Thomas, Dean of the School, said: “I am delighted that we are able to attract leading scholars like Professor Buda to our School. She will play a significant part, I am sure, in helping us achieve our ambitious programme of change whereby our research informs our teaching and enables us to engage purposefully with policy-makers and other practitioners. I know colleagues are waiting eagerly for her arrival.”

Commenting on her appointment, Professor Buda said: “I am honoured to have been offered this wonderful professorial opportunity. The strong research environment at the School, along with the inspiring leadership of the Dean, Professor Rhodri Thomas, make me eagerly anticipate my move to Leeds Beckett University. I cannot tell you how excited I am to relocate to Leeds and to get to know this city which everybody says I will love.

“In my new role I look forward to working with colleagues and producing high quality research output and related user-impacts. I also look forward to further tapping into the expertise and great potential of the existing research environment in the School. We plan to help improve the School’s position in the next round of the Research Excellence Framework.”

Professor Buda is a creative academic who conducts interdisciplinary research with a particular focus on the interconnections between tourist spaces, people and emotions at times and in places of socio-political turmoil. She has been awarded a number of research funds, totalling around £840,000 in the last years, including the Rosalind Frank Fellowship and an interdisciplinary four-year VENI grant from the NWO/Dutch Scientific Organisation for Research.

Professor Buda added: “I explore how dynamics of emotions between tourists and local tourism stakeholders shape the identity of places in areas of ongoing socio-political conflict. The focus is on emotions such as awe, anger, fear or fun. I conduct tourism ethnography in areas of turmoil like Jordan, Israel and Palestine – this means I travel to these places and spend a couple of months per year to collect material carrying out individual interviews and focus groups with tourists and locals involved in tourism transactions.”

Professor Buda has gained a diverse range of research, teaching and managerial experiences while working and studying around the world in countries including China, Germany, USA, New Zealand and the Netherlands.

The School of Events, Tourism, Hospitality and Languages at Leeds Beckett offers high quality undergraduate and postgraduate education informed by the research of academic staff and their engagement with progressive organisations, including major employers. 

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