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Course Information

Instructor Info:Rachel Engmann
Term: 2014F
Meeting Info: Tuesday Thursday
02:00 PM - 03:20 PM Franklin Patterson Hall (FPH) 107
02:00 PM - 03:20 PM Franklin Patterson Hall (FPH) 107
Description: Lions and Maasai, elephants and Bushmen, camels and Tuareg - Africa is seen as the continent of colorful cultures, picturesque people and thatched huts. This course seeks to introduce students to some of the key themes and debates in the anthropology of tourism, exploring the commodification of culture and nature in Africa as objects with marketable value. We will examine the historical, political, social and cultural contexts in which African countries, communities, and individuals articulate and sell notions of the "exotic", "tradition", "authenticity" and "indigeneity". Engaging with ethnographies we will examine the various forms of tourism: safaris, volunteerism, adventure tourism, eco-tourism, roots tourism or pilgrimage, romance and sex tourism. Examining relations between 'hosts' and 'guests' - brokers, tour operators, guides, 'experts', tourists and local populations - we will focus on the possibilities, problems and challenges presented by tourism in North, South, East and West Africa. Paying close attention to the ways in which the 'tourist gaze' produces and reproduces notions of race, class, gender, sexuality and desire, students will be asked to reflect upon and theorize their own tourist experiences. We will also discuss internal tourism, namely the reasons why when Africans become tourists, they rarely visit their own country.