2012-2013 Colloquium Series

The Tourism Studies Working Group is pleased to announce a colloquium featuring

Li Chunxia
(Associate Professor, Sichuan University, China)


Xuefan Zhou
(PhD Candidate, Anthropology and Ethnology, Xiamen University, China)

Friday, May 3, 5:00 PM
Gifford Room, 221 Kroeber Hall
University of California, Berkeley

Li Chunxia (Associate Professor, Sichuan University, China)
Title: Ancient Tower, Heritage Stories and Models of Understandings/Discourses

There is a so-called “heritage movement” led by UNESCO’ World Heritage which is sweeping over the whole world. How does China engage in this movement? Are there any implicit meanings or knowledge expressed in or generated by the processes of China’s heritage movement? There are three recent narratives about the ancient towers in Southwest China which may help us get a closer view about the different models of understanding or discourses practiced in the China’s heritage movement; we can call them the scientific, the mythical and the economic model. All of them weave a complicated but also a fairly typical picture of the heritage movement in China.

Zhou Xuefan (PhD Candidate, Anthropology and Ethnology, Xiamen University, China)
Title: "Peasant Family Happiness" as a Leisure Activity - A Succesful Model Rebuilding Chinese Traditions and Communities

“Confucianism”, “Taoism” and “Buddhism” have had significant impacts on Chinese perceptions of “leisure”. Differing from the Western “work-leisure” dichotomy, Chinese emphasize the freedom both in spirit and body, and the harmonious relation between human and nature. Chinese society was a clan/family society whose ethics are based on its agricultural civilization, Chinese leisure life is closely related to agriculture, land and family. Since late 20th century, “Peasant Family Happiness” as a leisure activity started up in China and quickly expanded to the whole country. The main feature is the farmers’ family as hosts and the tourists’ family as guests, and the two groups interact on the base of Chinese ethics and esteem for land, family and home. Local peasants rebuild and equip their home as “Peasant Family Happiness” to host short term tourists. These are always located in a suburban area with convenient transportation, and supplies local fresh food, gathering crops, tea-tasting, and Chinese traditional entertainment. Tourists (most of them are families and close friends) enjoy intimate relations far away from madding crowd, close to the land. In our minds, travel always means some kind of departure or transfer, but “Peasant Family Happiness” is a kind of regression of people’s heart and soul. As nostalgia flows into modern society, people try to search for “home of spirit” or a place you can express your emotions or sentiments freely. The regression to land, traditions and family life reflects people’s desire for going back to the pure and peaceful old lifestyle, seeking close relationships among people, and their introspections about faults of modern society.

Speaker Bios:
Chunxia Li is associate professor of Sichuan University of China, and is now a visiting scholar of CCS, UC Berkeley. Her interests revolve around anthropological research on the cultural heritage and the mass media. She is the author of TV and the Life of Yi People (2007) and Heritage: Origins and Rules (2008).

Xuefan Zhou is a Doctoral candidate in the Department of Anthropology and Ethnology of Xiamen University, China. She got her Master’s degree in the School of Hotel and Tourism Management of Hong Kong Polytechnic University in 2010. Her research fields are Tourism Anthropology, Ethnicity and Culture.

Discussant Bio:
Margaret (Peggy) Byrne Swain is a pioneer researcher in the Anthropology of Tourism. She teaches Anthropology and Womens Studies at U C Davis and has edited: Gender, Tourism, Fun (2002),"Gender in Tourism". Annals of Tourism Research (1995) Explorers and Scientists in China's Borderlands, 1880–1950 (2012). She is known for her early research among the Kuna of Panama, and her long term research among the Yi minority of the Stone Forest region of Yunnan, China.

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