Anthropology of Tourism - L. Kaifa Roland

ANTH 4020/5020-001, Fall 2008
Anthropology Department
Tuesday/Thursday 11:00am – 12:15 pm, HALE 260
Professor L.K. Roland (
Office: 444 Hale Hall, (303) 492-8022
Office Hours: Mondays & Wednesdays, 12noon – 3:00pm (or by appointment)
As a tour guide, I felt that what tourism needed was not another sojourn among the exotic savages
of the mysterious East or more clichés and stereotypes, so I tried to demystify traditional tourism,
to deconstruct the romantic images… and to reveal the mechanisms of production of tourist
performances. (Bruner 2005:204)
Painting of Balinese life showing tourists (Bruner 2005:203)
This course seeks to introduce students to anthropological theories on tourism and to consider those
theories in the contexts of the varied sites and forms of tourism practiced around the world today. We
will ask: Why do people tour? Where do they go? And most centrally: How do the hosts to tourism
feel about these outside visitors? Having been exposed to questions of globalization, development,
belonging, race, gender, and desire, by the end of the course students will be asked to reflect upon and
theorize their own touristic experiences.
Class Format:
The instructor will summarize and raise theoretical questions from the readings for class discussion.
However, the course is designed for a high level of student participation. Students are expected to read
and develop their own interpretations of the texts under review in order to contribute to discussion
through comments about the readings and to participate actively in class discussions. See the
presentation description under “class participation” below for more information. Students are graded
based on the depth of their analyses and the strength of their oral and written arguments. The objective
is to see that learning (rather than replication) is taking place.
Course Requirements:
Participation 10%
Souvenir Theory Presentation 10%
Reflection Papers 60%
Exit Essay 20%
*Note: Graduate Students will be evaluated, in addition to the above, based on additional readings and
a final paper as indicated.
Final Grade Scale for ANTH 4020-001
Grades are non-disputable. Prior to Thanksgiving Break students may conference with the instructor to
know her/his overall status and to determine how to improve the final grade.
Class Participation (10 points): This course will be taught as an advanced seminar. This means that we
will cover a large amount of material through reading assignments and class discussion; thus, you will
find that your grade for this course will be adversely affected if you are habitually unprepared to
participate in class discussions. Indeed, you cannot possibly do well in this course if you have not
gained sufficient information from the readings to meaningfully participate in class discussions. It is
self-evident that if you are not in attendance, then you are not able to meaningfully participate in class
discussions. Ten (10) absences will be regarded as grounds for failing the course.
Souvenir Theory Presentations (10 points): During each topical module, five students will lead collegelevel “show and tell” (no more than 10 minutes) in which they theorize their own travel experiences,
using souvenirs—photos, music, postcards, knickknacks—to bring those experiences to life for the rest
of the class. This project asks students to consider the kinds of questions tourism theorists focus on:
What deeper meanings about the society visited might the material objects collected by tourists hold?
What do the items mean to the tourist her/himself? How were the items marketed? If photos are being
considered, why was the shot taken? Who/what is in the picture? Who/what is not? These presentations
will be peer-evaluated (though the professor reserves the right to overrule collective grade decisions)
and are intended to be both fun and thought-provoking. Students will evaluate their classmates based on
explanation (theorization) of the souvenir medium in the context of the module (4 pts), anthropological
description of the site visited (4 pts), and clarity of presentation (2 pt).
Reflection Papers (60 points; 15 per paper): It is important that you read the assigned material critically,
as well as for specific content (see handout “A Personal Note to Undergraduates”). In order to assist
with this, you are asked to do formal critical analyses of the readings. Here you will be asked to
consider the readings in the context of the entire module: how do the theoretical points of the readings
relate to one another? Which of the readings did you find most useful/accurate as a reflection of your
own travel experiences? How did your classmates’ presentations challenge or reinforce your prior
understandings based on either the readings or your experiences? You should also feel free to describe
the theoretical strengths of a given position, as well as the gaps that it leaves in its wake. Please note
that points are deducted for any text(s) not analyzed (you should at least explain why you are not
discussing a text). Students are invited to use their analyses as platforms for in-class discussion. These
analyses should be 3 to 5 double-spaced pages. Late papers will not be accepted.
Exit Essay (20 pts): This paper asks students to do some introspection as to what they have learned in
the course of the semester and will be distributed in class during the final module of the course. The
essay is to be no more than 5 pages. Graduate students are to turn this paper in on the last day of class.
Graduate Student Final Paper – The topic and format will be decided in collaboration with the
instructor. It could be a site analysis of a tourist site that you visit on over the course of the term, a reevaluation (in light of theories learned) of a previous trip you have taken, or an analysis of tourist
brochures, websites or other media. As with the presentations, the assignment turns you into the
anthropologist and asks you to deeply analyze an aspect of tourism that interests you. The paper will be
12 to 15 pages in length.
The above written assignments (analyses and paper) will be evaluated based on whether they (1) are
well-written (proofread, paginated, argument flow, citations – grammar counts if the instructor doesn’t
understand); (2) demonstrate an understanding of the topic; (3) are thought-provoking and reflective
of individual student (that is not plagiarized, nor a regurgitation of class discussions or theorists); and (4)
on time.
´âáPlease see last page for syllabus notes on: disability statement, religious observances, discriminaton/
harassment, classroom behavior, laptops, & honor code.
One book is available at The CU Bookstore as well as The Colorado Bookstore. The remaining
readings are available on e-reserves (,
CULearn, or the course webpage ( using password _______________.
I strongly recommend downloading and printing the readings at the beginning of the term. Create a
computer folder with all the PDFs of the readings, or a physical coursepack of printed copies.
Required Text
Bruner, Edward M. 2005. Culture on Tour: Ethnographies of Travel. Chicago: University of Chicago.
Topics and Assignment Calendar:
The reading listed on each date is to be completed for discussion on that date.
(GS) = Graduate Student additional assignment
Introduction to Tourism Theory
Tue., 8/26
Introduction; In-class entrance questionnaire; Presentations sign-up
Taking Tourism Seriously
Thu. 8/28
Morgan & Pritchard, 2005, “On Souvenirs and Metonymy” (e-reserve)
Bruner, 2005. Culture on Tour Introduction
Theoretical Debate: Modern or Postmodern?
Tue., 9/2
Dean MacCannell, 1989, “Sightseeing and Social Structure” and “Staged Authenticity”
Thu., 9/4
John Urry 1990, “The Tourist Gaze” and “Cultural Changes and the Restructuring of
Tourism” (e-reserve)
Tue., 9/9
Erik Cohen, 1988 “Authenticity and Commoditization in Tourism” in Annals of Tourism
Research Vol. 15 (pp. 371-386) (e-reserve)
Ethnographic Grounding #1 – “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!”
Thu., 9/11
Souvenir Theory #1 [6 presentations]
GS / Supplemental Reading: William O’Barr, 1994 “Audience Responses: The
Photographs of Tourists” (e-reserve)
OR / Crawshaw & Urry, 2000 “Tourism and the Photographic Eye” in Touring Cultures
pp. 176-209. (e-reserve)
Tue., 9/16
Discussion/Catch-up/Local or Contemporary Issues
DUE DATE: Reflection #1
Tourism and Development
Ethnographic Grounding #2: Through the Looking Glass
Thu., 9/18
Colleen Cohen 1995 “Marketing Paradise, Making Nation” Annals of Tourism Research
22(2) (e-reserve)
VIDEO: Jamaica Tourism Channel
Tourism and the Environment
Tue., 9/23
C. Michael Hall, “Ecotourism in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific” in
Ecotourism: A Sustainable Option? (e-reserve)
Tourist Destinations & Motivations
Thu., 9/25
Hamzah Muzaini, 2005 “Backpacking Southeast Asia” Annals of Tourism Research
33(1) (e-reserve)
Tue., 9/30
Souvenir Theory #2 [6 presentations]
Ethnographic Grounding #3: Images and Interpretation
Thu., 10/2
Darya Maoz, 2005 “The Mutual Gaze” Annals of Tourism Research 33(1) (e-reserve)
FILM: Cannibal Tours
Tue., 10/7
Edward Bruner, “Of Cannibals, Tourists, and Ethnographers” Cultural Anthropology 4(4)
Thu., 10/9
Souvenir Theory #3 [6 presentations]
Tue., 10/14
Discussion/Catch-up/Local or Contemporary Issues
DUE DATE: Reflection #2
Tourism and Globalization
Tourism and Consumerism: Fantasy and Reality
Thu., 10/16 John Hannigan, 1998 Fantasy City, “Sanitized Razzmatazz” (e-reserve)
[GS – Kevin Meethan, 2001 “Tourism: Modernity and Consumption” (e-reserve)]
Shifting “Authenticity”
Tue., 10/21 Bruner, Culture on Tour, Ch. 1 (skim) & 2 (read)
Ethnographic Grounding #4 – Multiple Positionalities
Thu., 10/23 Noel Salazar, “Tourism and Glocalization” Annals of Tourism Research 32(3) (e-reserve)
Tue., 10/28
Souvenir Theory #4 [6 presentations]
Thu., 10/30
Discussion/Catch-up/Local or Contemporary Issues [Local tour?]
DUE DATE: Reflection #3
Gender, Sex, and Sexism in Tourism
Economy of Desire
Tue., 11/4
Cynthia Enloe, 1990. “On the Beach, Sexism and Tourism” (e-reserve)
[GS – Jacqui Alexander, 1997. “Erotic Autonomy as a Politics of Decolonization”
Ethnographic Grounding #5: Patriarchy and Negotiations of Power
Thu., 11/6
Steven Gregory, “Men in Paradise: Sex Tourism and the Political Economy of
Masculinity” (e-reserve)
Queer Sites/Sights
Tue., 11/11 Lynda Johnston, 2001 “(Other) Bodies and Tourism Studies Annals of Tourism Research
28(1) (e-reserve)
Thu., 11/13
Souvenir Theory #5 [6 presentations]
Tue., 11/18 – Discussion/Catch-up/Local or Contemporary Issues
DUE DATE: Reflection #4
Thu., 11/20 – Class Cancelled (AAA Mtgs)
Tue., 11/25
NO CLASS (Fall Break)
Thu., 11/27
NO CLASS (Thanksgiving)
Tourism and the Anthropologist
Ethnographic Grounding #6: Reconsidering “Us v. Them”
Tue., 12/2
Vasiliki Galani-Moutafi, 2000 “The Self and the Other: Traveler, Ethnographer, Tourist”
Annals of Tourism Research 27(1) (e-reserve)
Postmodernist Critiques
Thu., 12/4
Bruner, Culture on Tour, Ch. 7
Tue., 12/9
Souvenir Theory #6 [6 presentations]
Thu., 12/11
Last class – Wrap Up
Distribute Exit Essay Assignment
Grad Students - Turn in Exit Essay
Syllabus Notes
Note 1: If you qualify for accommodations because of a disability, please submit to me a letter from Disability
Services during the first two weeks of class so that your needs may be addressed. Disability Services determines
accommodations based on documented disabilities. Contact: 303-492-8671, Willard 322, or
Note 2: Campus policy regarding religious observances requires that faculty make every effort to reasonably and
fairly deal with all students who, because of religious obligations, have conflicts with scheduled exams,
assignments or required attendance. In this class, it is required that you notify the professor of any classes, tests,
or assignments that will be missed due to religious observance at least two weeks prior to the absence. The
instructor and the student can then determine jointly if/when missed material can be made up. See full details at
Note 3: The University of Colorado at Boulder policy on Discrimination and Harassment, the University of
Colorado policy on Sexual Harassment and the University of Colorado policy on Amorous Relationships apply
to all students, staff and faculty. Sexual harassment is unwelcome sexual attention. It can involve intimidation,
threats, coercion, or promises or create an environment that is hostile or offensive. Harassment may occur
between members of the same or opposite gender. Anyone who believes s/he has been sexually harassed should
contact the Office of Sexual Harassment (OSH) at 303-492-2127 or the Office of Judicial Affairs at 303-4925550. Further information can be obtained at: Any student, staff or
faculty member who believes s/he has been the subject of discrimination or harassment based upon race, color,
national origin, sex, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status should contact the Office of
Discrimination and Harassment (ODH) at 303-492-2127 or the Office of Judicial Affairs at 303-492-5550.
Information about the ODH, the above referenced policies and the campus resources available to assist
individuals regarding discrimination or harassment can be obtained at
Note 4: Students and faculty each have responsibility for maintaining an appropriate learning environment.
Those who fail to adhere to such behavioral standards may be subject to discipline. Professional courtesy and
sensitivity are especially important with respect to individuals and topics dealing with differences of race, culture,
religion, politics, sexual orientation, gender, gender variance, and nationalities. Class rosters are provided to the
instructor with the student's legal name. I will gladly honor your request to address you by an alternate name or
gender pronoun. Please advise me of this preference early in the semester so that I may make appropriate changes
to my records. See polices at and at
Note 5: It is recognized that many students use laptops in class to take/review notes or to quickly search a topic
under discussion. Should it be determined that in-class laptops are distracting from, rather than adding to, a
productive learning environment (surfing, facebook, myspace, etc.), they will be disallowed for the abusing
student(s). In their normal usage, an open laptop may be interpreted as a raised hand (i.e., you may be called on at
any time).
Note 6: I adhere to the Honor Code of this University and others (
If I find you plagiarizing or cheating, I will give you an “F” on the assignment and, depending on how egregious
the violation, an “F” in the course.