Poverty, Tourism, and Culture

Cultural Studies

GENG-7740.3 Topics in Local, National, and Global Cultures: Poverty, Tourism, and Culture
Spring/Summer 2016
Thursday 1-4, May 5 - July 22

Professor H. Snell

In this course we explore poverty tourism and related practices through a cultural studies lens, attending not only to their dense and complex history and politics of language but also to the various disciplinary, multi-disciplinary, and interdisciplinary perspectives from which this type of tourism and attendant registers of exoticism and cultural appropriation have been studied and continue to be studied. Our reading covers classic texts in tourism studies and the more narrowly defined “slum tourism studies” as well as theoretical, critical, and creative works that engage poverty and poverty tourism. These works include pieces by critical theorists, cultural studies practitioners, and curators as well as novels, films, memoirs, monuments, galleries, tourist artifacts, and art exhibits that have as their setting or subject conglomerates of apparently hastily settled or otherwise impoverished rural and urban communities. The course aims to foster a deep and nuanced understanding of the intersection at which poverty, tourism, and culture meet, particularly in conditions of postcoloniality where the relationship between tourism and poverty tends to be most amplified.