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Centre for Creative Ethnography

Noel B. Salazar

Noel B. Salazar

I hold a PhD in Anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania, USA, and am currently Professor in Social and Cultural Anthropology at KU Leuven, Belgium, where I founded the Cultural Mobilities Research (CuMoRe) cluster. Having conducted fieldwork in Tanzania, Indonesia, Chile, and Belgium, I am author of numerous publications on (im)mobility, heritage, imaginaries, and travel, and editor of the Berghahn Worlds in Motion book series. In 2013, I was elected as member of the Young Academy of Belgium.

My research approach is transdisciplinary in that I combine a solid basis in anthropological praxis with insights and methods from across the arts and sciences. Particularly the arts (and crafts) have much to teach us when it comes to putting creativity centerstage in our research endeavors (and this at all stages of the research process, not only at the very end).

I have developed mobile research methods, in collaboration with AnthroMob, an EASA network I founded in 2010. Some of these methods have been tested during creative ‘walkshops’ (walking workshops), which I have been organizing since 2015. In 2022, I co-organized one with colleagues from the Centre for Creative Ethnography during the EASA2022 biennial conference in Belfast. In that same year, I was invited to become a member of One by Walking, a network for collaboration, discussion, and experimentation within the area of research methodologies concerned with walking and experimental scientific and art-based work related to walking methodologies.

Noel B. Salazar @KU Leuven

Selected Publications (full list available here)

  • Monographs

    Salazar, N. B. (2018). Momentous mobilities: Anthropological musings on the meanings of travel. Oxford: Berghahn.

    Salazar, N. B. (2010). Envisioning Eden: Mobilizing imaginaries in tourism and beyond. Oxford: Berghahn.

  • On Methodology

    Salazar, N. B. (2022). The art of urban walking. In S. Caillard (Ed.), Teaching urban art practices in pandemic times (pp. 22-25). Brussels: Blurbs.

    Salazar, N. B. (2020). The writing behind the written. In C. McGranahan (Ed.), Writing anthropology: Essays on craft & commitment (pp. 182-184). Durham: Duke University Press.

    Salazar, N. B. (2018). Enriching the academic canon: From singing one tune to embracing multivocality / Obogaćivanje akademskog kanona: Od pjevanja jedne melodije do prihvaćanja višeglasja. Etnološka Tribina, 41(48), 42-46.

    Elliot, A., Norum, R., & Salazar, N. B. (Eds.). (2017). Methodologies of mobility: Ethnography and experiment. Oxford: Berghahn.

    Salazar, N. B., & Rivoal, I. (Eds.). (2013). Contemporary ethnographic practice and the value of serendipity. Theme issue, Social Anthropology 21(2).

    Salazar, N. B. (2010). Studying local-to-global tourism dynamics through glocal ethnography. In C. M. Hall (Ed.), Fieldwork in tourism: Methods, issues and reflections (pp. 177-187). London: Routledge.


  • Arts Related
  • On Concepts

    Salazar, N. B. (Ed.) (In Press). Anthropological handbook of mobility. Oxford: Berghahn.

    Astudillo, A. E., & Salazar, N. B. (2024). Heritage imaginaries and imaginaries of heritage: An analytical lens to rethink heritage from ‘alter-native’ ontologies. International Journal of Heritage Studies, 30(2), 181-194.

    Salazar, N. B. (2023). Mobile places and emplaced mobilities: Problematizing the place-mobility nexus. Mobilities, 18(4), 582-592.

    Salazar, N. B., & Scheerder, J. (Eds.). (2022). Contemporary meanings of endurance: An interdisciplinary approach. London: Routledge.

    Salazar, N. B. (2021). Existential vs. essential mobilities: Insights from before, during and after a crisis. Mobilities, 16(1), 20-34.

    Salazar, N. B. (2021). Immobility: The relational and experiential qualities of an ambiguous concept. Transfers, 11(3), 3-21.

    Salazar, N. B. (2020). Home as relational concept: Insights from work among nomads and hypermobile people. In P. Boccagni, L. E. Pérez Murcia, & B. Milena (Eds.), Thinking home on the move: A conversation across disciplines (pp. 46-50). Bingley: Emerald.

    Salazar, N. B. (2020). On imagination and imaginaries, mobility and immobility: Seeing the forest for the trees. Culture & Psychology, 26(4), 768-777.

    Amit, V., & Salazar, N. B. (Eds.). (2020). Pacing mobilities: Timing, intensity, tempo and duration of human movements. Oxford: Berghahn.

    Salazar, N. B. (2019). Mobility. REMHU: Revista Interdisciplinar da Mobilidade Humana, 27(57), 13-24.

    Salazar, N. B. (2018). Interdisciplinary perspectives on glocalization. Archaeological Review from Cambridge, 33(1), 11-32.

    Salazar, N. B. (2018). Theorizing mobility through concepts and figures. Tempo Social, 30(2), 153-168.

    Salazar, N. B., Timmerman, C., Wets, J., Gama Gato, L., & Van den Broucke, S. (Eds.). (2017). Mega-event mobilities: A critical analysis. London: Routledge.

    Salazar, N. B., & Coates, J. (Eds.). (2017). Key figures of mobility. Theme issue, Social Anthropology 25(1).

    Salazar, N. B., & Jayaram, K. (Eds.). (2016). Keywords of mobility: Critical engagements. Oxford: Berghahn.

    Salazar, N. B. (2016). Conceptual notes on the freedom of movement and bounded mobilities. In M. Gutekunst, A. Hackl, S. Leoncini, J. S. Schwarz, & I. Götz (Eds.), Bounded mobilities: Ethnographic perspectives on social hierarchies and global inequalities (pp. 283-289). Bielefeld: Transcript.

    Salazar, N. B., & Graburn, N. H. H. (Eds.). (2014). Tourism imaginaries: Anthropological approaches. Oxford: Berghahn.

    Salazar, N. B., & Glick Schiller, N. (Eds.). (2014). Regimes of mobility: Imaginaries and relationalities of power. London: Routledge.`

    Salazar, N. B. (2014). Migrating imaginaries of a better life... until paradise finds you. In M. Benson & N. Osbaldiston (Eds.), Understanding lifestyle migration: Theoretical approaches to migration and the quest for a better way of life (pp. 119-138). Basingstoke: Palgrave.

    Salazar, N. B. (2014). To be or not to be a tourist: The role of concept-metaphors in tourism studies. Tourism Recreation Research, 39(2), 259-265.

    Salazar, N. B. (2013). Scapes. In R. J. McGee & R. L. Warms (Eds.), Theory in social and cultural anthropology (Vol. 2, pp. 753-754). Thousand Oaks: Sage.

    Salazar, N. B. (2013). Anthropology. In P. Adey, D. Bissell, K. Hannam, P. Merriman, & M. Sheller (Eds.), The Routledge handbook of mobilities (pp. 55-63). London: Routledge.

    Salazar, N. B. (2012). Tourism imaginaries: A conceptual approach. Annals of Tourism Research, 39(2), 863-882.

    Salazar, N. B., & Smart, A. (Eds.). (2011). Anthropological takes on (im)mobility. Theme issue, Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power 18(6).

    Salazar, N. B. (2008). Representation in postcolonial analysis. In W. A. Darity (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences (2nd ed., Vol. 7, pp. 172-173). Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA.

    Salazar, N. B. (2008). Vacation. In W. A. Darity (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences (2nd ed., Vol. 8, pp. 565-566). Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA.

  • Guest Blogs

    2021   ‘I’m a Running Researcher: Noel Salazar’, Running Researcher series, Thursday, 15 December,

    ‘The Role and Relevance of the Humanities in the Contemporary World’, World Humanities Report Europe,

    2019   ‘Ethnographic theory: A product of observation, reflection … and travel’, Network of Ethnographic Theory (NET) Blog, September,

    2018   ‘HOMIng interview with Noel B. Salazar’, Homing: The Home-Migration Nexus, Thursday, 21 June,

    2017   ‘Sustainable tourism… for development?’, Anthropology News, Monday, 14 August,

    2014   ‘The writing behind the written’, Savage Minds (Writer’s Workshop Series), Monday, 15 September,

    ‘Waiting for Tallinn: A conversation with Noel Salazar’, Allegra: A Virtual Lab of Legal Anthropology, Thursday, 24 April,

  • Podcasts

    2024   ‘World Anthropology Day’, The Familiar Strange, Thursday, 15 February 2024,

    2023   ‘Global mass tourism’, BBC World Service (Radio), The Forum, Saturday, 24 June,

    2020   ‘Socially distanced?’, The Being Human Show (RAI Podcast), Friday, 14 August 2020,

    2015   ‘Imagination’, BBC World Service (Radio), The Forum, Monday, 26 January,

  • Walkshops

    2024   Mobile heritage – A walking workshop, Hanaholmen, Helsinki, Finland

    2023   AnthroMob Workshop, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK

    2022   Future Landscape – A walking workshop, Valadalen, Sweden

    17th EASA Biennial Conference, Queens University, Belfast, Northern Ireland

    Co-organizer [with R. Schapira, M. Svasek, E. Urban-Devereux, A. Toland & M. Leibinger]

    Mobile Good Life: Healthy Natures – A walking workshop, Baroniet, Rosendal, Norway

    2020   16th EASA Biennial Conference, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal

    Co-organizer [with E. Lanclus & R. Schapira]

    2018   15th EASA Biennial Conference, Stockholm University, Sweden

    Co-organizer [with P. Laviolette, P. Favero & S. Walton]

    2016   14th EASA Biennial Conference, University of Milano-Bicocca, Milan, Italy

    2015   Mobile Work-Life Arrangements: Exploring Conceptual and Methodological Challenges, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, Freiburg (Germany)

    EASA AnthroMob workshop, Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal

  • Creation in the Arts or Design

    2022   World on the move: 250,000 years of human migration. AAA Public Education Initiative on Migration and Displacement (Advisory board member), USA.

    2016   Snapshot 13: Images of Tourism. Volkskundemuseum Bruges (Scientific advisor), Belgium.

  • Photography

    2011   AAA Photo Contest Winner (Category: Place), American Anthropological Association, USA.

  • Video