[URBANTH-L]AAA Call for Papers - Incredible !ndia

David Geary dgeary at interchange.ubc.ca
Thu Mar 20 15:21:27 EDT 2008

CALL FOR PAPERS: 107th Annual Meeting, American Anthropological Association,San Francisco, CA, Nov 19–23, 2008

SESSION: Incredible !ndia: Tourism, Place-making and the Imagination in South Asia
Co-organizers, Tapoja Chaudhuri (University of Washington) and David Geary (University of British Columbia)

In 2002 the Ministry of Tourism launched a massive global brand campaign through the slogan 'Incredible !ndia.' This branding exercise aligned with provocative and alluring images has been touted as a major achievement in helping increase foreign tourist arrivals, as well as boosting domestic tourism. At the same time the traffic of images in contemporary Indian tourism has brought to the foreground the wedding of a postcolonial legacy of Orientalist imageries with that of the new ageist imaginations of spirituality and nature consciousness. In this session we seek to investigate these recent trends and cultural practices at the intersection of place-making and the imagination. As one of the fastest growing industries, tourism has become a key facet and expression of globalization where images traverse and circulate across national boundaries in competitive ways. Travel agencies, brochures, websites, travel programs, magazines and itineraries conjure images and position destinations as part of the marketing of difference at the global level. To this effect specific sites are being transformed, manufactured and harnessed by distinct social actors and institutions (eg. local communities, NGOS, marketing specialists, state and international agencies). This session welcomes a wide-range of innovative papers that draw upon the anthropological theory of tourism and address some of the following questions. What role do images and advertising have in creating, catering and soliciting specific experiences and desires? How do host societies receive, participate and resist regimes of place-making for tourist consumption? Lastly, in what ways might fieldwork and ethnography shed light on the multivocality of tourism and the contingent relationships over shared resources? 

In this session we will bring together a range of ethnographic studies with a geographical focus on India. Central to our interrogation of the imaginative geographies of tourism in South Asia are the shifting power relations and contingent historical and contested domains where stakeholders interact at various scales.  Drawing on the theme of “inclusion, collaboration, and engagement” we also invite participants to explore the voices of anthropologists in public debates surrounding tourism, destination branding and the active and complex responses of place-making.  

Please send your abstract to tapoja at u.washington.edu and dgeary at interchange.ubc.ca before March 27th, 2008. We look forward to hearing from you. Paper abstract for the AAA are limited to 250 words.
David Geary
PhD Candidate
Department of Anthropology
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, Canada

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