Tourism Conference in Lisbon

AADS study abroad graduate students and instructors will present their research findings from Senegal and The Gambia at the AADS & GSS Graduate Colloquium at FIU on Sept. 3rd, and at the Tourism and Seductions of Difference Conference in Lisbon, Portugal, Sept 9-12th. Both FIU and Lisbon panels are titled: The Revelation, Re-Affirmation, and Re-Invention of Self Through the “Discovery,” Consumption, and Experiencing of Others: Globalization and Interactions in Senegambian Tourism Formations.

The Graduate Colloquium to be held on September 3, from 1:30pm-4pm in LC 110 at the Modesto Maidique Campus, will provide the graduate students the opportunity to share their experiences and findings from their study abroad research with the FIU community, which will simultaneously prepare them for the big event- the Tourism and Seductions of Difference Conference in Lisbon.

Organized by Dr. Jean Rahier, anthropologist and AADS director, the panel at both events will feature the following presentations:

  1. Globalization and the Emergence of “Academic Tourism” in U.S. Higher Education Curricula: Africa as Exotic Destination and the Prevalence of American Categories Jean Muteba Rahier Florida International University
  2. “What is Africa to Me?” Now: The Impact of Heritage/Roots Tourism on African Americans’ Conceptions of Africa Tyler Parry University of South Carolina
  3. The Tourismification and Invention of Sites of Memory: The Slavery Museum of Juffureh Village and the Guided Tour of James Island, The Gambia, in the Summer 2010 Harriet Marin Jones Florida International University
  4. Demystifying the Diaspora?: The Performance of Power and Responsibility Between African American Tourists and Gambian locals Synatra Smith Florida International University
  5. Interstices of Race and Nation: Encounters and Negotiations Among Multiple Regimes of Gender and Sexuality in Senegambian Tourism Mamyrah A. Dougé-Prosper Florida International University
  6. What do the Toubabs Want?: Conversations with “Businessmen,” “Bumsters,” and Other Young Male and Female Gambians about Sex Tourism in The Gambia Mariama Jaiteh Florida International University

The AADS/GSS Graduate Colloquium will also feature:

  1. Intimate Faces of Senegambian Tourism: Hustlers, Beachboys, or “Bumsters” Chris Stephens, African & African Diaspora Studies Florida International University

The Revelation, Re-Affirmation, and Re-Invention of Self Through the “Discovery,” Consumption, and Experiencing of Others: Globalization and Interactions in Senegambian Tourism Formations A panel organized by Jean Muteba Rahier, Florida International University

This panel presents explorations of academic tourism, heritage or roots tourism, and sex tourism as globalized tourism formations in the Senegambian region of West Africa. The papers are the product of field research conducted by United States-based graduate students, under the supervision of the panel organizer, during the unfolding of what could be called the “academic tourism” that took place in the summer of 2010 over the five weeks period of a study abroad program in Miami, Florida, and in Senegal and The Gambia. The focus of the program was on “traditions, globalization, and tourism in West Africa.” Our principal objectives were to disentangle the processes at work among the various social actors and big and small stakeholders involved in “heritage tourism” (also called “roots tourism”) at Gorée Island in Senegal, and at Juffureh village and James Island in The Gambia, as well as to examine the informal commerce of sexual-economic and affective transactions that often take place between older (mostly white) European and American male and female tourists and young Senegalese and Gambian women and men in La Petite Côte in Senegal, and in Kololi beach in The Gambia.

The expression globalized tourism formation refers to the sociohistorical processes that create specific spaces of encounter on the “global stage,” where seductions of difference and desires for it meet or collide, and by which social categories are created, inhabited, transformed, inverted, and sometimes destroyed and reinvented. These categories are informed by geographic, racial, sexual, and gender dichotomies that oppose powerful to subaltern, global south to global north, black to white, African to Euro American and also African American, young to old, male to female, rich to poor, etc. We understand tourism formations as processes that always involve “exotic” seductions and desires for the “un-familiar,” which result from a linkage between structure and representation, where specific tourism projects ideologically work to make these links. A specific tourism project is at the same time an interpretation, a representation, and an explanation of social dynamics that combine to bring in, and to reorganize and redistribute resources along particular socio-economic and racial lines.

All papers presented in this panel are grounded on ethnographic reflective participant-observation and on a series of systematic formal and informal interviews.