2017-2018 Colloquium Series

The Tourism Studies Working Group is pleased to announce
How a History of the Object Becomes the Tourism Attraction

Xiangchun Zheng
Associate Professor of Anthropology, Yunnan Minzu University, Kunming

Friday, Oct. 6, 5:00pm
Gifford Room, 221 Kroeber Hall
University of California, Berkeley

History, which needs words as a medium for speaking and writing, inevitably has poetic and rhetorical traits. Because of these traits, historical narratives become, in Hayden White's terms, "meta-history." Through historical narrative, the discrete history of objects and events have been conjoined for specific political, economic and social purposes. Meanwhile, in the post-colonial and contemporary social context of consumption, the taste of objects is also continually re-made by this kind of historical narrative, which exemplifies the contest for social power amongst the government, enterprises, the media and the local people. Eventually, with the entanglement between outsider/local, First World/Third World and text/context, the historical narrative of the object becomes a tourism attraction for today's mass tourists. In my research, I trace the grapes of Yunnan minority area, southwest China to explore how the local people construct their wine history by using the strategy of historical narrative; in addition, how this history of wine not only extends their place and group history, but also make a special taste combining with European, especially French wine culture and local culture, and finally, in today's consumption society, the history of wine becomes the core local tourism resource to attract mass tourists.

Speaker Bio:
Xiangchun Zheng is Associate Professor of anthropology at Yunnan Minzu University in Kunming. She received her PhD from Xiamen University. Her research interests include the culture of drinking in minority villages in Yunnan, southwest China, culture heritage studies and anthropology of tourism. She has published one monograph and over 30 essays. Her book titled 葡萄的实实实实实践:一个滇南子的葡 实实实实实实实实 萄酒文化起与再生 (The Grape's Practice: the Cultural Origin and Structure of Reproduction of Wine Culture among the Bazi of South Yunnan, Beijing University Press, 2012) regards grapes as the object in anthropological sense, focusing on the practice and symbolic text making of the object in post-colonial and modern China context. Xiangchun Zheng is currently visiting scholar of Center for Chinese Studies at UC, Berkeley

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