I obtained my PhD in anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania (USA) and am currently Research Professor at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Leuven (Belgium) and Visiting Professor at the Università degli studi di Bergamo (Italy). From 2011 until 2015 I serve as Executive Committee member of the European Association of Social Anthropologists (since 2013 as President of EASA) and from 2013 until 2018 as Vice President of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES).
My research interests include anthropologies of mobility and travel, the local-to-global nexus, discourses and imaginaries of Otherness, heritage, cultural brokering and cosmopolitanism. I have published peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and newspaper articles on these topics in the USA, the UK, India, Indonesia, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Spain, Estonia, and Colombia.
I am the author of Envisioning Eden: Mobilizing Imaginaries in Tourism and Beyond (2010, Oxford: Berghahn) and co-editor of Regimes of Mobility: Imaginaries and Relationalities of Power (2014, New York: Routledge) and Tourism Imaginaries: Anthropological Approaches (2014, Oxford: Berghahn). I founded CuMoRe (Cultural Mobilities Research) and the EASA Anthropology and Mobility Network.
I am on the editorial boards of Social Anthropology, Annals of Tourism Research, AIBR - Revista de Antropología Iberoamericana, Journal of Heritage Tourism, Mobile Culture Studies Journal, International Journal of Tourism Anthropology, European Journal of Tourism, Hospitality and Recreation, and the East African Tourism, Hospitality and Leisure Journal. In addition, I am on UNESCO’s and UNWTO’s roster of consultants, and I am an expert member of the ICOMOS International Cultural Tourism Committee and the UNESCO-UNITWIN Network 'Culture, Tourism and Development'.