Celebrity, Politics, and Conservation
Examining Tourism in Southern Africa

APRIL 25, 2008
2:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Gifford Room, 221 Kroeber Hall, 2nd floor
University of California, Berkeley

Examining Tourism in Southern Africa
Friday, April 25, 2008
Gifford Room, 221 Kroeber Hall

Welcome and Introductory Remarks (2:00 p.m.)

* Naomi Leite, Co-Chair, Tourism Studies Working Group

* Nelson Graburn (Anthropology, UC Berkeley)

Speaker 1 (2:15 p.m.)

* Kathryn Mathers (Humanities, Stanford University), "Finding Yourself in Africa: How Oprah (and Americans) Find Their ‘True North’ in Africa"

Speaker 2
(3:00 p.m.)

* Joseph Mbaiwa (Tourism Studies, Texas A&M University), "Tourism Development, Rural Livelihoods, and Biodiversity Conservation in the Okavango Delta, Botswana"


Speaker 3
(4:00 p.m.)

* Robin L. Turner (Political Science, UC Berkeley), "Historical Dispossession and Contemporary Politics: Divergent
Nature Tourism Trajectories in Rural Southern Africa"

(4:30 p.m.)

* Discussant: Benjamin Gardner (Geography, UC Berkeley)

* Open discussion

Concluding Remarks
(5:30 p.m.)


Kathryn Mathers
is a Post-Doctoral Fellow in Humanities at Stanford University. She received her BA and MA from the University of Cape Town, South Africa, where she worked in archaeology and museum studies. She received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from UC Berkeley in 2003. Kathryn is currently working on a book manuscript entitled Tough Love: How Africa Makes Good Americans, examining the role Africa plays in the lives of Americans and in the development of a humanitarian consciousness peculiarly suited to supporting a neo-capitalist economic agenda. She has written about the television shows Big Brother South Africa and Survivor Africa. Additional publications include “Doing Africa: Travelers, Adventurers, and American Conquest of Africa,” and "Natives, Tourists, and Makwerekwere: Ethical Concerns with 'Proudly South African' Tourism."

Joseph E. Mbaiwa
is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences, Texas A&M University, and a Senior Research Fellow in Tourism Studies at the Harry Oppenheimer Okavango Research Centre of the University of Botswana. His research focuses on tourism development, rural livelihoods and conservation in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Joseph co-authored Tourism and Environment in the Okavango Delta, Botswana and has published more than 25 journal articles and 10 book chapters on tourism development, livelihoods and conservation in the Okavango Delta.

Robin L. Turner is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Political Science at UC Berkeley. She received her BA from Duke University and MA in Political Studies from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Her research focuses on environmental politics, broadly defined to encompass the relationship between communities, state policies, and natural resources. Robin is in the midst of writing her dissertation, tentatively titled Politics Where the Wild Things Are: Nature Tourism, Property Rights, Traditional Leadership, and the State in Rural Botswana and South Africa. She has published one article on nature tourism, "Communities, Wildlife Conservation, and Tourism-Based Development: Can Community-Based Nature Tourism Live up to Its Promise?" and presented several conference papers on African nature tourism and other topics.

Benjamin Gardner is a Lecturer in the Geography Department at UC Berkeley, where he completed his Ph.D. in Geography in 2007. His research on the relationship between the environment, local politics, and transnational policies and institutions grows out of experience addressing conservation, conflict, and inequality in Africa over the past fifteen years. In 1992, he worked closely with KIPOC, the first Maasai non-governmental organization focused on indigenous land rights, and later with international organizations advising the Tanzanian state on community resource management policy. Since that time he has spent extended periods working and living in urban and rural areas in Tanzania collaborating with Tanzanian organizations and conducting research. His dissertation, Producing Pastoral Power: Territory, Identity and Rule in Tanzanian Maasailand is an ethnographic account of the relations between ongoing territorial struggles, international conservation and tourism, Maasai intellectuals, and indigenous activism in East Africa.


This symposium was organized by the Tourism Studies Working Group, with generous support from the Department of Anthropology, the Department of Geography, the Townsend Center for the Humanities, the Graduate Assembly, and the Center for African Studies.

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