In the Footsteps of Robert Louis Stevenson: a shared Culture

Robert Louis Stevenson’s work still inspires very active academic research as evidenced by the number of publications, books, articles, theses, seminars and meetings of academics and experts. Writers, film-makers, cartoonists can often trace their inspiration for their contributions to the world today to the work and values of Stevenson.

The European Network “In the footsteps of Robert Louis Stevenson” wants to encourage and participate in the growth of this knowledge and to share the benefits as widely as possible, particularly, among men and women who encounter the works and values of Stevenson through reading and cultural activities. Visits by the general public to the places, trails and routes of the network provide a powerful and joyful opportunity to share that culture.

To promote the sharing of that culture, the working group met in Bristol as part of the network’s Annual General Meeting 2015. The meeting proposed two themes of work.

The first theme is to assess the extent [I think this is the French usage of “importance” to mean size, rather than importance as we would use it in English.] of study, research and skills available on the works of Stevenson. This requires:

  • to clearly identify the members of our network who have developed knowledge about the life and work of Stevenson (books, articles, brochures, conferences [or “talks?]…)
  • to enter into or renew ties with the teams and the people who have worked on Stevenson, professional or not, in the academic, literary or artistic communities.

This should allow us regularly to share and to review the development of our cultural route in relation to the state of knowledge on Stevenson. These exchanges could manifest themselves in many ways throughout our associations beyond at the formal confines of general meetings of the network.

The second area of work concerns the definition of what we must communicate about Stevenson and how best to do so, on our website, in exhibitions, in our brochures. We must also consider the place of communication in the development of our activities and the cultural route we promote. This will lead us to reflect on the relationship between cultural development and tourism development.

The work programme for the coming months will therefore include the following:

  1. Establish a directory of individuals and teams and work undertaken around the work of Stevenson, both within the network and among different academic, literary and artistic communities.
  2. Make contact with these people and institutions to explain our approach and seek their cooperation in a form to be jointly defined.
  3. Identify experts and institutions who promote cultural tourism and share our values ​​(environmental sensitivity, soft tourism, importance of cultural tourism).
  4. Integrate in our website links with teams and people interested in our work and information.
  5. Organize a seminar presenting the work undertaken in recent years on Stevenson in November 2016, during our general meeting in Fontainebleau.
  6. Organize exchanges with other cultural routes in the framework of the French Federation of European Cultural Routes and the European Institute of Cultural Routes in Luxembourg about the role of scientific advice in the lives of routes and the available resources in the field of promotion of cultural tourism.
  7. The financing of these actions should be the subject of grant applications made to European programmes (LEADER …). The amounts requested will meet the cost of financing trainees (at Master student level).

Michel Legros – President of the Network

10 January 2016