UC Berkeley Tourism Studies Working Group - news_detail  

2022-2023 Colloquium Series

The Tourism Studies Working Group is pleased to present

My First Two Days With Juan Arvallo, Chief of the Pai Pai

Dean MacCannell
Professor Emeritus, Environmental Design and Geography
University of California, Davis

Friday, March 24, 4PM-6PM PST

Hybrid Presentation:
In Person: Gifford Room, 221 Anthropology and Art Practice Bldg.
University of California, Berkeley

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About the Presentation:
There is a passage in Mike Davis’s Magical Urbanism (p. 46) where he remarks: “the Pai Pai hid out for decades in a mountain fastness of the Baja California desert before being “rediscovered” by Sierra Club hikers in the 1950s.” MacCannell was the anonymous hiker Mike Davis refers to. At age 17, he was looking for the hidden upper village of the Pai Pai, high atop the San Pedro Martir escarpment in Baja. He claims his search was mainly an excuse for some adventure. Nevertheless, his encounter with the the Pai Pai and eventual friendship with their charismatic Chief, Juan Arvallo, profoundly influenced the direction of his thinking and studies for the rest of his life, figuring heavily in his decision to study tourism and his leaving the field of anthropology after receiving a Berkeley B.A. in1963. He tells the story of “rediscovering” the Pai Pai in his recently published memoir,18 and Out. In this TSWG presentation, he will read from these parts of his memoir and lay the groundwork for a discussion of tourist versus traveler; who is the observed and who is the observer in tourism studies; some things that happen in a culture contact situation that usually go unnoticed; etc.

Praise for '18 and Out':
“With not so much as a nod to the “Greatest Generation,” Dean MacCannell tells a fascinating story of his growing up during World War II and beyond. His family was dirt poor and his parents preternaturally indifferent to him, yet he was endlessly curious and creative: he drew, played the violin, started little businesses, mastered his school work, climbed tall mountains and worked on expensive racing cars. He neither liked nor respected his mother and his father, but thrived anyway under circumstances that today would be called child neglect. Funny, candid, idiosyncratic and full of surprises—you won’t put it down.”

  • JERRY BROWN, Governor of California 1975-1983 and 2011-2019
  • “This riveting memoir is what you get when a great sociologist turns his ethno- graphic eye and sharp pen - now generous, now acid - on his own mid-century up- bringing on the Pacific. Short of food and parental love, the young MacCannell, an endlessly curious and self-reliant gearhead with enough caring mentors and a talent for drafting and reading with purpose, finds beauty in bricolage and life lessons in sudden epiphanies.

  • IAIN BOAL, Social Historian, co-author of Resisting the Virtual Life: The Culture and Politics of Information City, and co-founder of the Retort Collective
  • “MacCannell describes a childhood that is anything but idyllic with such generosity, tenderness and humor, that it will cure you of any lingering self-pity. As a fairly recent immigrant, I learned a lot from it, not only about life and how to live it, but about an America I never knew existed.”

  • MILENA MOSER, Best-selling Swiss novelist author of more than twenty German language books with several translated into French and English.
  • “This is a difficult book to put down! It is a very lively romp through MacCannell’s life from birth through college, touching on family, school, work, play, sex and education. ... His independence from his parents allowed to him unusual hobbies, including racing sports cars, mountain climbing in Mexico and entertaining his own friends.”

  • NELSON GRABURN, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Anthropology, Uni- versity of California Berkeley and Co-Chair, The Tourism Studies Working Group
  • “As a refugee woman, Dean MacCannell’s memoir will deeply resonate with many such as myself who have had to overcome adversity to find one’s own path, with love and support from the few who see their potential.”

  • MAI-NHUNG LE, Professor & Chair, Asian American Studies, San Francisco State University
  • Speaker Bio:
    Dean MacCannell is professor and chair emeritus of Environmental Design and Geography at the University of California, Davis College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences. He maintains a regular writing and lecturing schedule in retirement. His childhood memoir, 18 and Out, was published in 2022. Recent publications also include “The Moral Economy of Tourism,” (Lusophone, 2020): “Leisure Class,” (The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology, 2019); “Tourism, Authenticity and Art” (The Journal of Tourism History, 2018); “Ethics and Tourism” (Recerca, 2018); “Ethnographer of Modernity” (Tourism Tribune, 2018—in Mandarin). MacCannell was an early contributor to academic tourism studies with his article on “Staged Authenticity: Arrangement of Social Space in Tourist Settings” (1973), The Tourist: A New Theory of the Leisure Class (1976)

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