In Afro-Atlantic Flight Michelle D. Commander traces how post-civil rights Black American artists, intellectuals, and travelers envision literal and figurative flight back to Africa as a means by which to heal the dispossession caused by the slave trade. Through ethnographic, historical, literary, and filmic analyses, Commander shows the ways that cultural producers such as Octavia Butler, Thomas Allen Harris, and Saidiya Hartman engage with speculative thought about slavery, the spiritual realm, and Africa, thereby structuring the imaginary that propels future return flights. She goes on to examine Black Americans’ cultural heritage tourism in and migration to Ghana; Bahia, Brazil; and various sites of slavery in the US South to interrogate the ways that a cadre of actors produces “Africa” and contests master narratives. Compellingly, these material flights do not always satisfy Black Americans’ individualistic desires for homecoming and liberation, leading Commander to focus on the revolutionary possibilities inherent in psychic speculative returns and to argue for the development of a Pan-Africanist stance that works to more effectively address the contemporary resonances of slavery that exist across the Afro-Atlantic.
When residents and tourists visit sites of slavery, whose stories are told? All too often the lives of slaveowners are centered, obscuring the lives of enslaved people. Behind the Big House gives readers a candid, behind-the-scenes look at what it really takes to interpret the difficult history of slavery in the U.S. South. The book explores Jodi Skipper’s eight-year collaboration with the Behind the Big House program, a community-based model used at local historic sites to address slavery in the collective narrative of U.S. history and culture.
In laying out her experiences through an autoethnographic approach, Skipper seeks to help other activist scholars of color negotiate the nuances of place, the academic public sphere, and its ambiguous systems of reward, recognition, and evaluation.
Builds on dialogues opened in recent years between Cuban archaeologists, whose work has long been carried out behind closed doors, and their international colleagues
Issues addressed by the 17 contributors represented in this collection include the long-term cultural and intellectual links between Florida and Cuba, which influence shared research goals today; the limitations of theoretical frameworks for archaeology defined in the wake of the Cuban Revolution, and how to overcome them; the challenges involved in charting out the earliest human occupations on the island; the processes of Indo-Hispanic transculturation during the Colonial epoch; late pre-Colombian links between the Taínos of eastern Cuba and the rest of the Greater Antilles; and the theoretical and practical tensions between architectural restoration and the practice of scientific urban historical archaeology. Thus this volume makes a crucial contribution to the field of archaeology on many fronts, not the least of which is the sharing of information across the blockade.
Recruited to be a lecturer on a group tour of Indonesia, Edward M. Bruner decided to make the tourists aware of tourism itself. He photographed tourists photographing Indonesians, asking the group how they felt having their pictures taken without their permission. After a dance performance, Bruner explained to the group that the exhibition was not traditional, but instead had been set up specifically for tourists. His efforts to induce reflexivity led to conflict with the tour company, which wanted the displays to be viewed as replicas of culture and to remain unexamined. Although Bruner was eventually fired, the experience became part of a sustained exploration of tourist performances, narratives, and practices.
Synthesizing more than twenty years of research in cultural tourism, Culture on Tour analyzes a remarkable variety of tourist productions, ranging from safari excursions in Kenya and dance dramas in Bali to an Abraham Lincoln heritage site in Illinois. Bruner examines each site in all its particularity, taking account of global and local factors, as well as the multiple perspectives of the various actors—the tourists, the producers, the locals, and even the anthropologist himself. The collection will be essential to those in the field as well as to readers interested in globalization and travel.
The drums beat, an old man in a grand robe mutters incantations and three brides on horseback led by their grooms on foot proceed to the Naxi Wedding Courtyard, accompanied, watched and photographed the whole way by tourists, who have bought tickets for the privilege. The traditional wedding ceremonies are performed for the ethnic tourism industry in Lijiang, a World Heritage town in southwest China. This book examines how heritage interacts with social-cultural changes and how individuals perform and negotiate their identities through daily practices that include tourism, on the one hand, and the performance of ethnicity on the other. The wedding performances in Lijiang not only serve as a heritage 'product' but show how the heritage and tourism industry helps to shape people's values, dreams and expectations. This book also explores the rise of 'romantic consumerism' in contemporary China. Chinese dissatisfaction with the urban mundane leads to romanticized interests in practices and people deemed to be natural, ethnic, spiritual and aesthetic, and a search for tradition and authenticity. But what, exactly, are tradition and authenticity, and what happens to them when they are turned into performance?
Heritage and tourism mutually reinforce each other, with the presentation of heritage at physical sites mirrored by the ways heritage ispresented on the internet. This interdisciplinary book uses humanities and social sciences to analyse the ways that heritage is brandedand commodified, how stakeholders organise place brands, and how digital strategies shape how visitors appreciate heritage sites. The book covers a wide geographic diversity, offering the reader the chance to find cross-cutting themes and area-specific features of the field.
How can we effectively interpret and present one culture to another without stereotypes or over-simplifications? What is the best way to present an authoritative version of a national heritage without also endangering ancient sites or being insensitive to the local customs, beliefs, and religious practices of the indigenous peoples?
This volume addresses the ongoing thrust in archaeology to take the next step after preserving the past: interpreting that past for the future. That future audience includes both local citizens and tourists who may have little background in archaeology, anthropology, or the history of the culture featured. Walker presents the key components of the anthropological study of tourism as a global phenomenon, with particular emphasis on the more prominent arguments for how and why tourism is a universal and meaningful human activity. The highly controversial topic of authenticity is examined, with special attention given to how "authentic" has been defined and how it relates to the ways in which archaeological sites, artifacts, and cultural traditions are presented--or not presented--to the visiting public. The ephemeral promise of “authenticity” drives the heritage tourism industry, which is a key consideration for the long term economy of the Maya Riviera and elsewhere. Through analysis of seven archaeological sites on the Yucatan peninsula that are open to heritage touring, Walker reveals the planned growth of the Maya Riviera since the early 1970s and examines the impact of international tourism on both ancient structures and the contemporary Maya people and culture.
In Itineraries in Conflict, Rebecca L. Stein argues that through tourist practices—acts of cultural consumption, routes and imaginary voyages to neighboring Arab countries, culinary desires—Israeli citizens are negotiating Israel’s changing place in the contemporary Middle East. Drawing on ethnographic and archival research conducted throughout the last decade, Stein analyzes the divergent meanings that Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel have attached to tourist cultures, and she considers their resonance with histories of travel in Israel, its Occupied Territories, and pre-1948 Palestine. Stein argues that tourism’s cultural performances, spaces, souvenirs, and maps have provided Israelis in varying social locations with a set of malleable tools to contend with the political changes of the last decade: the rise and fall of a Middle East Peace Process (the Oslo Process), globalization and neoliberal reform, and a second Palestinian uprising in 2000.
Combining vivid ethnographic detail, postcolonial theory, and readings of Israeli and Palestinian popular texts, Stein considers a broad range of Israeli leisure cultures of the Oslo period with a focus on the Jewish desires for Arab things, landscapes, and people that regional diplomacy catalyzed. Moving beyond conventional accounts, she situates tourism within a broader field of “discrepant mobility,” foregrounding the relationship between histories of mobility and immobility, leisure and exile, consumption and militarism. She contends that the study of Israeli tourism must open into broader interrogations of the Israeli occupation, the history of Palestinian dispossession, and Israel’s future in the Arab Middle East. Itineraries in Conflict is both a cultural history of the Oslo process and a call to fellow scholars to rethink the contours of the Arab-Israeli conflict by considering the politics of popular culture in everyday Israeli and Palestinian lives.
Boston National Historical Park is one of America's most popular heritage destinations, drawing in millions of visitors annually. Tourists flock there to see the site of the Boston Massacre, to relive Paul Revere's midnight ride, and to board Old Ironsides—all of these bound together by the iconic Freedom Trail, which traces the city's revolutionary saga.
Making sense of the Revolution, however, was never the primary aim for the planners who reimagined Boston's heritage landscape after the Second World War. Seth C. Bruggeman demonstrates that the Freedom Trail was always largely a tourist gimmick, devised to lure affluent white Americans into downtown revival schemes, its success hinging on a narrow vision of the city's history run through with old stories about heroic white men. When Congress pressured the National Park Service to create this historical park for the nation's bicentennial celebration in 1976, these ideas seeped into its organizational logic, precluding the possibility that history might prevail over gentrification and profit.
On Being Maya and Getting By is an ethnographic study of the two Ek’Balams—a notable archaeological site and adjacent village—of the Yucatán Peninsula. When the archaeological site became a tourist destination, the village became the location of a community-based tourism development project funded by the Mexican government. Overt displays of heritage and a connection to Maya antiquity became important and profitable for the modern Maya villagers. Residents of Ek’Balam are now living in a complex ecosystem of natural and cultural resources where the notion and act of “being Maya” is deeply intertwined with economic development.
The book explores how Ek’Balam villagers negotiate and maneuver through a web of social programs, tourists, volunteers, and expectations while living their daily lives. Focusing on the active processes in which residents choose to participate, author Sarah R. Taylor provides insights into how the ideological conflicts surrounding economic development play out in the negotiations between internal community politics and external social actors. The conflicts implicit to conceptions of “community” as a target for development are made explicit through the systematic questioning of what exactly it means to be a member of a local, indigenous, or sustainable community in the process of being developed.
On Being Maya and Getting By is a rich description of how one community is actively negotiating with tourism and development and also a call for a more complex analysis of how rural villages are connected to greater urban, national, and global forces.
In recent years the travel industry has promoted trips to cultural landscapes that contain great historical and symbolic landmarks, and Latin American towns and cities are anything but isolated from this trend. Many historic city centers in Latin America have been preserved intact from the colonial era and today may serve institutional, commercial, or residential needs. Now economic forces from outside the region have created a demand for the preservation of historically "authentic" districts.
This book explores how heritage tourism and globalization are reshaping the Latin American centro histórico, analyzing the transformation of the urban core from town plaza to historic center in nine cities: Bogotá, Colombia; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Cartagena, Colombia; Cuenca, Ecuador; Havana, Cuba; Montevideo, Uruguay; Puebla, Mexico; Quito, Ecuador; and Trinidad, Cuba. It tells how these pressures, combined with the advantage of a downtown location, have raised the potential of redeveloping these inner city areas but have also created the dilemma of how to restore and conserve them while responding to new economic imperatives.
In an eclectic and interdisciplinary study, Joseph Scarpaci documents changes in far-flung corners of the Latin American metropolis using a broad palette of tools: urban morphology profiles, an original land-use survey of 30,000 doorways in nine historic districts, numerous photographs, and a review of the political, economic, and globalizing forces at work in historic districts. He examines urban change as reflected in architectural styles, neighborhood growth and decline, real estate markets, and local politics in order to show the long reach of globalization and modernity.
Plazas and Barrios spans all of Spanish-speaking America to address the socio-political dimensions of urban change. It offers a means for understanding the tensions between the modern and traditional aspects of the built environment in each city and provides a key resource for geographers, urban planners, architectural historians, and all concerned with the implications of the emerging global economy.
What is the meaning of blackness in Africa? While much has been written on Africa’s complex ethnic and tribal relationships, Jemima Pierre’s groundbreaking The Predicament of Blackness is the first book to tackle the question of race in West Africa through its postcolonial manifestations. Challenging the view of the African continent as a nonracialized space—as a fixed historic source for the African diaspora—she envisions Africa, and in particular the nation of Ghana, as a place whose local relationships are deeply informed by global structures of race, economics, and politics.
Against the backdrop of Ghana’s history as a major port in the transatlantic slave trade and the subsequent and disruptive forces of colonialism and postcolonialism, Pierre examines key facets of contemporary Ghanaian society, from the pervasive significance of “whiteness” to the practice of chemical skin-bleaching to the government’s active promotion of Pan-African “heritage tourism.” Drawing these and other examples together, she shows that race and racism have not only persisted in Ghana after colonialism, but also that the beliefs and practices of this modern society all occur within a global racial hierarchy. In doing so, she provides a powerful articulation of race on the continent and a new way of understanding contemporary Africa—and the modern African diaspora.
Explores the major economic industry among American Indian tribes—public promotion and display of aspects of their cultural heritage in a wide range of tourist venues
A major economic industry among American Indian tribes is the public promotion and display of aspects of their cultural heritage in a wide range of tourist venues. Few do it better than the Eastern Band of the Cherokee, whose homeland is the Qualla Boundary of North Carolina. Through extensive research into the work of other scholars dating back to the late 1800s, and interviews with a wide range of contemporary Cherokees, Beard-Moose presents the two faces of the Cherokee people. One is the public face that populates the powwows, dramatic presentations, museums, and myriad roadside craft locations. The other is the private face whose homecoming, Indian fairs, traditions, belief system, community strength, and cultural heritage are threatened by the very activities that put food on their tables. Constructing an ethnohistory of tourism and comparing the experiences of the Cherokee with the Florida Seminoles and Southwestern tribes, this work brings into sharp focus the fine line between promoting and selling Indian culture.
The historic and mythic elements of the American Old West—covered wagon trains, herds of buffalo, teepee villages, Indigenous warriors on horseback, cowboys on open ranges, and white settlers “taming” a wilderness with their plows and log cabins—have exerted a global fascination for more than 200 years and became the foundation for fan communities who have endured for generations. This book examines some of those communities, particularly German fans inspired by the authors of Westerns such as Karl May, and American enthusiasts of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie series.
But the Old West (like all visions of the past) proved to be shifting cultural terrain. In both Germany and the U. S., Western narratives of white settlement were once seen as “apolitical” and were widely accepted by white people. But during the Nazi period in Germany and in East Germany after 1945, the American West was reevaluated and politically repurposed. Then, during the late twentieth century, understandings of the West changed in the U. S. as well, while the violence of white settler colonialism and the displacement of Indigenous peoples became a flashpoint in the culture wars between right and left. Reagin shows that the past that fans seek to recreate is shaped by the changing present, as each new generation adapts and relives their own West.
On any given night, hundreds of guests walk the darkened streets of Colonial Williamsburg looking for ghosts. Since the early 2000s, both the museum and private companies have facilitated these hunts, offering year-round ghost tours. Critics have called these excursions a cash grab, but in truth, ghosts and hauntings have long been at the center of the Colonial Williamsburg project.
The Spirit of Colonial Williamsburg examines how the long-dead past comes alive at this living-history museum. In the early twentieth century, local stories about the ghosts of former residents—among them Revolutionary War soldiers and nurses, tavern owners and prominent attorneys, and enslaved African Americans—helped to turn Williamsburg into a desirable site for historical restoration. But, for much of the twentieth century, the museum tried diligently to avoid any discussion of ghosts, considering them frivolous and lowbrow. Alena Pirok explores why historic sites have begun to embrace their spectral residents in recent decades, arguing that through them, patrons experience an emotional connection to place and a palpable understanding of the past through its people.
From Shamu the dancing whale at Sea World to Hawaiian lu'au shows, Staging Tourism analyzes issues of performance in a wide range of tourist venues. Jane C. Desmond argues that the public display of bodies—how they look, what they do, where they do it, who watches, and under what conditions—is profoundly important in structuring identity categories of race, gender, and cultural affiliation. These fantastic spectacles of corporeality form the basis of hugely profitable tourist industries, which in turn form crucial arenas of public culture where embodied notions of identity are sold, enacted, and debated.
Gathering together written accounts, postcards, photographs, advertisements, films, and oral histories as well as her own interpretations of these displays, Desmond gives us a vibrant account of U.S. tourism in Waikiki from 1900 to the present. She then juxtaposes cultural tourism with "animal tourism" in the United States, which takes place at zoos, aquariums, and animal theme parks. In each case, Desmond argues, the relationship between the viewer and the viewed is ultimately based on concepts of physical difference harking back to the nineteenth century.
We may not realize it, but truth and place are inextricably linked. For ancient Greeks, temples and statues clustered on the side of Mount Parnassus affirmed their belief that predictions from the oracle at Delphi were accurate. The trust we have in Thoreau’s wisdom depends in part on how skillfully he made Walden Pond into a perfect place for discerning timeless truths about the universe. Courthouses and laboratories are designed and built to exacting specifications so that their architectural conditions legitimate the rendering of justice and discovery of natural fact. The on-site commemoration of the struggle for civil rights—Seneca, Selma, and Stonewall—reminds people of slow but significant political progress and of unfinished business. What do all these places have in common? Thomas F. Gieryn calls these locations “truth-spots,” places that lend credibility to beliefs and claims about natural and social reality, about the past and future, and about identity and the transcendent.
In Truth-Spots, Gieryn gives readers an elegant, rigorous rendering of the provenance of ideas, uncovering the geographic location where they are found or made, a spot built up with material stuff and endowed with cultural meaning and value. These kinds of places—including botanical gardens, naturalists’ field-sites, Henry Ford’s open-air historical museum, and churches and chapels along the pilgrimage way to Santiago de Compostela in Spain—would seem at first to have little in common. But each is a truth-spot, a place that makes people believe. Truth may well be the daughter of time, Gieryn argues, but it is also the son of place.