2018-2019 Colloquium Series


The Tourism Studies Working Group is pleased to announce
 
Student Mini-Conference on Tourism, Pilgrimage and Identity in Israel/Palestine

Nicholas Shafer
Michael Nance
Kenneth Schoon

Friday, April 26, 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Gifford Room, 221 Kroeber Hall
University of California, Berkeley

Followed by dinner for all in the Gifford Room


Nicholas Shafer "Forms of Conflict Tourism in the West Bank."

Building off of the focus on Israel-Palestine within this set of talks, Nicholas will present a brief summary of several of the the current forms of conflict and dark tourism- thanatotourism -that exist in present day Israel/Palestine. These include a broad spectrum of forms of "witnessing tourism" such as tours run by Breaking the Silence or Ir Amim as well as "luxury" conflict experiences such a those found at the famous Banksy hotel in Bethlehem. At its heart, the role of conflict tourism in Palestine brings forth many critical questions about intent, ethics, and socioeconomic questions of privilege to the forefront of tourism as a phenomenon in a context of human rights abuse or war zones.

Nicholas Shafer is a current senior double major in Anthropology and Arabic Language and Literature with a minor in Public Policy and Education. He is an incoming Boren Scholar and Fellow at the Center for Arabic Studies Abroad, and will use the support of this funding to travel to Amman, Jordan, in order to complete a senior honors thesis exploring the role cultural institutions and tourism plays in the stability of conceptions of Jordanian definitions of citizenship. Nicholas transferred to Berkeley from community college in Fall 2017, and is an active leader in the Anthropology Undergraduate Association, Transfer and Re-Entry student association, Berkley Student Cooperative, and Center for Middle Eastern Studies. Following graduation, Nicholas hopes to move into a career in Diplomacy through either formal or informal channels with a particular focus on educational, scientific, and cultural exchange.

 

Michael Nance "Jewish Heritage Tourism to Israel: Israeli Transnationalism Through Sex Appeal and Music."

The various programs that provide Jewish Heritage Tourism to Israel use a ritualistic process with a liminal phase to create a recombinant sense of individual and collective identity for the participants. They do so building off of pre-existing imaginaries of individual and collective identity, using sensual experiences to create a sense of fun for the participants as a mechanism for these recombinant identities. Experiences that appeal to the senses, including sex appeal and music, are used to engage people on an emotional level, and then reshape and build new individuals and communities based on experiential and constructive tourism based on certain ideological underpinnings.

Michael Nance is a current MA student in Ethnomusicology on a PhD track at UC Berkeley. He previously earned an MA in International Relations from the University of Chicago in 2013 and a BA in Anthropology from Tufts University in 2010. Michael received funding in 2011 from the American Center for International Policy Studies that enabled him to conduct and publish on-site Ethnographic research in Israel regarding socio-cultural phenomenon as related to the political climate in Israel and the Greater Middle East. He is interested in the ways in which music has the potential to reorganize people's sense of community on both a local and national (or even transnational) level through tourism. He also wishes to focus on music as a means of dividing or bringing people together in war and conflict.

 

Kenneth Schoon "American Protestants, Pilgrimage, and Palestinian Solidarity in the Holy Land"

American Protestants are relatively new participants in the centuries-long tradition of Christian pilgrimage to sacred sites in the region today known as Israel and Palestine. Researchers have studied extensively the arrival and influence of American Christian Zionists- Protestants who actively support the state of Israel, often to fulfill an end-times prophecy- on this pilgrimage scene. Yet not all American Protestants are Christian Zionists; in fact, many are actively involved in initiatives that express varying degrees of political solidarity with Palestinians. This talk explores the roots of solidarity between American Protestants and Palestinian Christians and Muslims, how this solidarity is intertwined with the history of Christian pilgrimage, how solidarity pilgrimage fits within the literature on volunteer and solidarity tourism, and how returning pilgrims are contributing to discourse on U.S. policy in the region.

Ken Schoon is a 2nd year PhD student in the Department of Religion & Practice at the Graduate Theological Union. His research interests include postcolonial theology, Christian pilgrimage, and Asian American Christianity. Ken holds a Master of Divinity from the Methodist Theological School in Ohio and a Bachelor of Science in Urban Studies from the University of Cincinnati. He is a provisional clergy member of the California-Nevada Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.

 

Distinguished Discussant
Benjamin W. Porter is Director of the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology and an Associate Professor of Near Eastern Archaeology in the University of California, Berkeley's Near Eastern Studies Department. Porter is an Anthropologist who specializes in Middle Eastern Archaeology, museum studies, cultural heritage, and tourism. His past research includes the study of archaeological tourism in rural Middle Eastern communities.

 
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