2011-2012 Colloquium Series
Sharon Bohn Gmelch (Professor, Anthropology,University of San Francisco and Union College), will present "Tasting the Good Life: Wine Tourism in the Napa Valley"
Friday, May 4, 4:00 PM
Room 101, 2251 College Avenue
Archeological Research Facility
University of California, Berkeley
While anthropologists often have been accused of failing to
"study up," this presentation turns an anthropological lens on an elite
activity and form of tourism -- wine tasting. Each year five million
people from the US and abroad travel to California's Napa Valley to
experience the "good life": to taste fine wines, eat fine food, and immerse
themselves in other sophisticated pleasures while surrounded by bucolic
beauty. This overview looks at who wine tourists are, what the "tasting"
experience is all about, the growth of wine tourism in the valley, and its
impact on the landscape and lives of the people who live there.
Sharon Bohn Gmelch is Professor of Anthropology at the University of
San Francisco and at Union College where she holds the Roger Thayer Stone
Chair of Anthropology. Her interests include visual anthropology, gender,
ethnicity, and tourism. Her published work on tourism includes "Tourists
and Tourism" (Waveland Press, 2010) and "Tasting the Good Life: Wine
Tourism in the Napa Valley" (Indiana University Press, 2011), co-authored
with George Gmelch. She is currently conducting a cross-cultural study of
tour guides, most recently in Tanzania.