Dr. Andrew Wood
Office: HGH 210; phone: (408) 924-5378
Email: wooda@email.sjsu.edu
Web: http://www.sjsu.edu/faculty/wooda

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Postcolonial studies of tourism: Natives as tourist attractions

Reading: Nicholson-Lord

Reading: Kincaid (first half)

This week, we turn to globalized exchanges made possible in the age of mobility, proposing that culture becomes a commodity when its practices are made available for the spectator gaze. Authors such as Nicholson-Lord reveal through postcolonial critique how the power of spectator gaze earns the anger of persons whose homes become backdrops for wealthy visitors' fantasies. We also begin to discuss Jamaica Kincaid and her depiction of the motives for Western tourism. Her argument that the banality of modern life inspires the need for exotic "getaways" sets up powerful contrast between the ability of Europeans and Americans to flee their lives and the "natives" of her home island who cannot. We also explore the power of language to establish and affirm the inequitable relationship between tourist and native.

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