Erin Lynch

Erin Lynch is a PhD student in Social and Cultural Analysis, and holds an MA in Criminology from the University of Ottawa. Erin’s doctoral research explores how city-sanctioned mobile tourism applications augment the experience of urban spaces and attractions. In an effort to cater to technology-savvy tourists, many cities have begun offering free, downloadable, “self-guided” tour apps for mobile devices. These applications provide multisensory maps – in the form of audio, text, and visuals – designed to help the user make sense of the (branded) city and move through it in particular ways. Erin’s research investigates how these “extensions of the senses” mediate users’ interactions with the dynamic site of the tour, and considers what types of experiences, histories, meanings, and identities are privileged by these emergent tourism practices. This interdisciplinary project builds on her Master’s research concerning geographies of crime in popular films, which departed from the position that the maps of meaning we layer over the world are constructed somewhere between the “real” and the “reel.” Her doctoral research pushes this exploration of real-imagined geographies and sense-making one step further to investigate the intriguing form of spatial mediation posed by mobile tourism applications, wherein a representation of space is layered over the experience of the space in real time.