2012-2013 Colloquium Series

The Tourism Studies Working Group is pleased to announce

Reanimation of the Ancient Silk Road

Nelson Graburn
Professor Emeritus, Anthropology
University of California, Berkeley

Friday, October 4, 4:00 PM
Gifford Room, 221 Kroeber Hall
University of California, Berkeley

My presentation will include my paper given at the recent workshop on Reanimating the Silk Road at Nottingham University UK and a consideration of the range of disciplinary approaches at the conference. I consider what reanimation might mean for a variety of stakeholders, and whether indeed the Silk Road needs any more reanimation. I cite comparative cases of the reanimation of the Ancient Tea Horse Road centered on Lijiang, China and the Camino de Santiago centering on Compostela in Galicia, Spain. I consider the nature of performance and embodiment using the National Rumba troupe in Havana and the Naxi (Dongba) Marriage Courtyard in Lijiang. I conclude that the Silk Road has been reanimated but in a way which may obscure the original meanings. Other Conference papers discussed trekkers and travelers, changing means of transportation, representations of the Silk Road in photography, film and literature, and the effects of ICOMOS and commercial branding.

Speaker Bio:
Nelson Graburn (Co-chair 2012-2013) was educated in Natural Sciences and Anthropology at Cambridge, McGill, and University of Chicago. He is emeritus professor of socio-cultural anthropology at UC Berkeley, Curator of North American Ethnology at the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology, and co-chair of the Canadian Studies Program. He also recently retired from an appointment as Senior Professor at the International Institute for Culture, Tourism and Development at London Metropolitan University. Professor Graburn served as co-chair of the Tourism Studies Working Group in 2010-2013, and was a driving force in the organization of our 2011 conference, Tourism Imaginaries/Imaginaires Touristiques.

Prof. Graburn has taught at Berkeley since 1964, with visiting appointments at the National Museum of Civilization, Ottawa; Le Centre des Hautes Etudes Touristiques, Aix-en-Provence; the National Museum of Ethnology (Minpaku) in Osaka; and the Research Center in Korean Studies, National University of Kyushu, in Fukuoka, Japan; the Universidade Nacional, Rio Grande del Sol, Porto Alegre, Brazil, the Nationalities University, Beijing, and Beijing International University. He is a founding member of the International Academy for the Study of Tourism, the Research Committee on Tourism (RC-50) of the International Sociological Association, and the Tourism Studies Working Group, and serves on the editorial board (for anthropology) of Annals of Tourism Research.

Prof. Graburn's recent research has focused on the study of art, tourism, museums, and the expression and representation of identity. He has carried out ethnographic research with the Inuit (and Naskapi) of Canada (and Alaska and Greenland) since 1959. He is now working with the Inuit cultural organizations in Nunavik and Nunavut, Canada, on aspects of cultural preservation and autonomy, and on contemporary Inuit arts, including film and video-making. He has done research on tourism and social change in Japan since 1974, and with students and colleagues on tourism in China since 1991.

In addition to articles and book chapters on ethnic and tourist arts, museums, modernity, identity, and theory and methods in the study of tourism, Prof. Graburn's publications include Ethnic and Tourist Arts (ed., 1976), To Pay, Pray, and Play: The Cultural Structure of Japanese Tourism (1983), and Relocating the Tourist (2001). Recent edited volumes include Multiculturalism in the New Japan, (2008), “Current Themes in Indigenous Tourism”. Special Issue of London Journal of Tourism, Sport and Creative Industries, 2 (1) (2009), edited with Alexis Bunten, and, Tourism and Glocalization: Perspectives in East Asian Studies, (2010) edited with Han Min.

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