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2023-2024 Colloquium Series

Wines for the Tourist Table: A Modest Proposal for Hinterland China

Nelson Graburn, Distinguished Emeritus Professor of Anthropology
Co-Chair, Tourism Studies Working Group
University of California, Berkeley

Friday, December 1st, 4PM-6PM PDT

Hybrid Presentation
In Person: Gifford Room, 221 Anthropology and Art Practice Bldg.
University of California, Berkeley
Also hosted on Zoom webinar [click here

Dinner at 7.00 pm at Great China. Please RSVP via e-mail (graburn@berkeley.edu) if you are able to join us.

*There is no password needed to join this meeting. However, please ensure that you are logged into your Zoom account before clicking on the meeting link.

In my recent month’s visit to China I was a consultant to planners wishing to increase or even attract foreign tourists to China. By foreign, they meant European and American, not the nearby Koreans, Japanese and SE Asians. The provinces were Sichuan and Guizhou in the Southwest but what I had to say applies to most other provinces outside of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. Among my suggestions was the promotion and display of Chinese wines in restaurants and hotels, where they were hardly ever available. I said that most foreigners were ignorant of the contemporary massive production of wines [pútáojiǔ = grape wines] of all prices and qualities in China and would be keen to try them, and perhaps even buy some to take home. I also suggested the promotion and display of the often excellent local non-grape wines [Huángjiǔ = yellow wines], made from rice, plums, sugar cane, bayberry, etc., which are often ‘home made’ and offered to tourists in rural villages, especially by ethnic minorities. If these could be promoted and offered in cities, it would intrigue foreign tourists to venture out into the countryside, to enjoy the commonly available Nongjiale [‘peasant family happiness’, i.e. rural hospitality and foods]. This in turn would promote a shared regional identity, and might close the gap between the frequently negative urban-rural relationships.

Speaker Bio
Nelson Graburn was educated at Cambridge (1958), McGill (1960) and Chicago (PhD 1963), and Northwestern (Postdoc, 1963-64). He has taught at U C Berkeley for 59 years, serving as Curator of the Hearst Museum, Chair of Canadian Studies and co-chair of Tourism Studies (www.tourismstudies.org). He has also taught in Canada, France, UK, Germany, Sweden, Portugal, Japan, and Brazil and China. He has carried out research on change, identity, multiculturalism, museums, art, heritage and tourism among Canadian Inuit (since 1959), in Japan (since 1974) and in China (since 1991). His works include: Ethnic and Tourist Arts (1976); Japanese Domestic Tourism (1983); Anthropology of Tourism (1983); Multiculturalism in the New Japan (2008); 旅游人类学论文集 [Anthropology in the Age of Tourism] (2009); Tourism and Glocalization in East Asia (2010); Tourism Imaginaries: Anthropological Approaches (2014), Tourism Imaginaries at the Disciplinary Crossroads (2016), Indigenous Tourism Movements (with Alexis Bunten, 2018),) and Tourism and Musical Imaginaries (2023). Since 2018 he has worked with leading Chinese wine scholar, Xiangchun Zheng, in Europe and in China, on many aspects of the growth, variety and tourist aspects of the huge Chinese wine industry. His interest in non-grape wines stems from his childhood in England and his many exciting experiences in China.

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