CFP: On the Development of “Tourism Regions” as Anthropological Theory

osea Emerging Scholars Research Seminar 2012

On the Development of “Tourism Regions” as Anthropological Theory: Oaxaca and Yucatán in Comparative Framework

Dates: Tentative dates June 27-30, 2012.
Alternative dates are July 4-7.
Host: OSEA, The Open School of Ethnography and Anthropology
Location: Pisté, Yucatán, México – 3 kms. from Chichén Itzá World Heritage Site

The concept of “region” has come and gone in anthropology more than once, each time within different theoretical frameworks. Yet, anthropologists have yet to begin to question the constitution, nature, and dynamics of tourism regions. In contrast, industry scholars of all types have always used a concept of region as a crucial frame in the design, development, study, and maintenance of tourism. The underlying objectives of this Research Seminar are therefore (a) to develop not only practical descriptive concepts of regions that account for variation in scale but also (b) to forge analytically powerful concepts or “theories” of “tourism regions” from the ground up and in ways that are closely articulated to the investigative priorities of cultural and applied anthropologies. Towards this end, we invite paper proposals from emerging scholars (see definition below) that work in either Oaxaca or Yucatán and whose ethnographic and historical investigations on tourism issues can contribute to this dialogue on “tourism regions.”

Oaxaca and Yucatán are two culture-geographic regions of México that are often placed together in the context of Mexican politics as they are part of the Indigenous south of México. Yet, anthropologists have mostly ignored the potential for comparative analysis of different kinds of processes. Tourism provides an excellent framework for asking comparative questions about Oaxaca and Yucatán as each is a region of nested regions constituted by heritage, culture, tourism, state politics, and economic processes: 1. How do the manifest differences between these regions reveal significant shared tourism dynamics and processes? 2. How do generic similarities or shared tourism processes reveal dramatically different dynamics and grounded realities? Presenters are not necessarily expected to be able to directly address comparative questions or analyze “the” region or even “a” (sub)region. Rather presenters are expected to be able to contribute to the exchange of ideas and dialogue on these issues with their specific research situation. Thus, participants present research on any number of grounded issues that can be analyzed in relation to comparative questions of tourism regions. Areas of interest include for example, state-local interface, NGO-community interaction, social issues (heath, healing, ecology, infrastructure), development (sustainability, urbanism, ruralism, markets, labor), representation and discourse, ongoing negotiation of cultural forms, and identity politics.

Organizers: Quetzil Castañeda Director OSEA, Ronda Brulotte (Anthropology, University of New Mexico) and W. Warner (Bill) Wood (Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Texas at El Paso)

For details, including submission process,

Participants require their own funding to participate. There is a registration fee of approximately $45 US to cover costs.

OSEA is currently exploring a partnership that could provide funding to individual participants.

“Emerging Scholars” refers to a professional status ranging from advanced graduate student with significant field research completed to junior scholar prior to the publication of a single authored book.