2012-2013 Colloquium Series

The Tourism Studies Working Group is pleased to announce

Selva Lacandona and Beyond

David Dumoulin Kervran
Sociology, Institute for Advanced Latino American Studies
Sorbonne Nouvelle - Paris 3 University

Friday, April 12, 5:00 PM
Faculty/Staff Lounge, 219 Kroeber Hall
University of California, Berkeley

Biologists constantly attempt to distance themselves from tourists. Some biologists may accept to support an eco-tourist project as a component of a conservation program, but the majority complain about the negative effect of tourists, and all of them are loudly reluctant to share places with tourists. The fact that they claim to be eco-tourists makes no difference since: "science does not mix with leisure".

Yet, I will demonstrate that, far from being two separate activities, field biology and tourism are invisibly and closely intertwined. Indeed, the work of field biologists is the first basic step for the whole eco-tourism industry. Three main aspects of this connection will be highlighted: 1) Creation of new values for the global market by distinguishing some species or places; 2) Offering meaning and a model of proper behavior for tourist-local interactions; 3) Establishing spatial organization of eco-tourism: first accommodation with field stations, first access to remote areas, first trails connecting "interesting" sites, and first visits for potential funders.

The analysis is based mainly on the Selva Lancandona case (Chiapas, Mexico) but I will present some generalizations using fieldwork experiences in others countries and continents. Of course, numerous parallels could be drawn from the situation of anthropologists.

Speaker Bio:
David Dumoulin Kervran (david.dumoulin@univ-paris3.fr; david.dumoulin@berkeley.edu) is a Sociologist, from Sorbonne Nouvelle - Paris 3 University (Institute for Advanced Latino American Studies), and currently a visiting professor at UCB, in the Chicano/Latino Studies Program for Spring 2013. He has published various articles on NGOs, transnational networks, indigenous organizations and conservation policies in Latin America. In 2012, he was the editor of two books: Agir-en-réseau: modèle d'action ou outil d'analyse? (with M. Pépin Le Halleur) and Le multiculturalisme 'au concret' en Amérique latine. Un modèle latino-américain? (with Ch. Gros). Regarding tourism, he published in 2010 "Conflictos de inversiones en territorios indígenas: el turismo en la Comarca Kuna Yala de Panamá," in C. Gros & J. Foyer, ¿Desarollo con identidad ? Gobernancia economica en Pueblos indígenas : siete estudios de caso, Quito, IFEA-FLACSO-CEMCA, and he was editor with M. Boulossa et M. Demanget of a special issue of Cahiers des Amériques Latines, N°65, "Patrimonial Tourism and Local Societies in Latin America". His current research is on the links between science and tourism practices..

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