Proposed Seminar: Tourism in Text, Theory, and Practice
Eighth Annual Meeting of the Cultural Studies Association
March 18-20, 2010, Berkeley, California
Sponsored by the Division of Cultural Studies and Literature
Risk tourism. Dark tourism. War tourism. Ecotourism. Heritage tourism. Sex tourism. Medical tourism. Space tourism. Sports tourism. As one of the world’s fastest-growing industries, tourism shapes economies, politics, societies, and cultures. Until now, the study of tourism has largely been the purview of the social sciences but this seminar intervenes in the discussion by bringing together literary and cultural studies to work towards an interdisciplinary model that lends equal authority to different kinds of knowledge.
Potential topics include the intersections of tourism with work and leisure; nationalism and globalization; gender, sexuality, race, and class; violence; visuality; commerce and commodities; mobility and access; discourse and narrative; and power and resistance, among many others. The subject might be approached from the perspective of a specific field of inquiry such as anthropology, museum studies, or travel writing; from a theoretical angle such as postcolonialism or feminism; or anchored in a specific text or example.
To apply for this seminar, the prospective participant should submit via email a proposal (in the format of his/her choice) describing the research project that brings them to issues of tourism. Include contact information with email address, a brief bio, and any requests for audio-visual equipment. Proposals due no later than November 14, 2009.
Once accepted for the seminar, participants will be asked to read Dean MacCannell’s _The Tourist: A New Theory of the Leisure Class_, John Urry’s _The Tourist Gaze_, or another theory of tourism (details to follow). They should also be prepared to circulate abstracts of their projects to the other participants. We will aim to move back and forth between our theoretical readings and the research projects in order to generate a deeper understanding of the theory and practice of tourism for our respective objects of critical inquiry.
Professor Helen Kapstein
John Jay College, CUNY
619 W54th St, Rm 752A
New York, NY 10019
Helen Kapstein is tenured in the English Department at John Jay College, The City University of New York. She earned her PhD in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University. Her areas of interest include postcolonial and contemporary British literatures, cultural and media studies, and southern African literature and culture. Her current book project looks at tourism in postcolonial literature and culture.