Universität Wien FIND
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140394 VO+UE VM6 / VM4 - Staging the pre-modern other in post-colonial tourist space (2016W)

A critical exploration of ‘happy peasants’, ‘noble savages’ and imperial discourse in volunteering abroad

Continuous assessment of course work
SGU

Details

max. 25 participants
Language: English

Lecturers

Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Wednesday 05.10. 09:00 - 11:00 Seminarraum SG1 Internationale Entwicklung, Sensengasse 3, Bauteil 1
Wednesday 12.10. 09:00 - 11:00 Seminarraum SG1 Internationale Entwicklung, Sensengasse 3, Bauteil 1
Wednesday 19.10. 09:00 - 11:00 Seminarraum SG1 Internationale Entwicklung, Sensengasse 3, Bauteil 1
Wednesday 09.11. 09:00 - 11:00 Seminarraum SG1 Internationale Entwicklung, Sensengasse 3, Bauteil 1
Wednesday 16.11. 09:00 - 11:00 Seminarraum SG1 Internationale Entwicklung, Sensengasse 3, Bauteil 1
Wednesday 23.11. 09:00 - 11:00 Seminarraum SG1 Internationale Entwicklung, Sensengasse 3, Bauteil 1
Wednesday 30.11. 09:00 - 11:00 Seminarraum SG1 Internationale Entwicklung, Sensengasse 3, Bauteil 1
Wednesday 07.12. 09:00 - 11:00 Seminarraum SG1 Internationale Entwicklung, Sensengasse 3, Bauteil 1
Wednesday 14.12. 09:00 - 11:00 Seminarraum SG1 Internationale Entwicklung, Sensengasse 3, Bauteil 1
Wednesday 11.01. 09:00 - 11:00 Seminarraum SG1 Internationale Entwicklung, Sensengasse 3, Bauteil 1
Wednesday 18.01. 09:00 - 11:00 Seminarraum SG1 Internationale Entwicklung, Sensengasse 3, Bauteil 1
Wednesday 25.01. 09:00 - 11:00 Seminarraum SG1 Internationale Entwicklung, Sensengasse 3, Bauteil 1

Information

Aims, contents and method of the course

International tourism is one of the world’s fastest growing industries and has gained
recognition as a key driver for socio-economic development in countries of the Global
South. However, the tourist industry does not necessarily create sustainable livelihoods
and stable employment for local communities; its success rather depends on the ability
to create profitable attractions that inspire people’s imagination. Such commodified
fantasies of places and people are circulated in all forms of popular culture (e.g. travel
logs, guide books, brochures, films, etc.) and may range from home-stays with ‘noble
savages’ to all-inclusive volunteer holidays in ‘least developed countries’. While it is
fairly obvious that much adventure tourism of today resonates 19th century fantasies of
imperial discovery, the volunteer sector one of the corollaries of neoliberal global
capitalism - places Western tourists amidst supposedly backward and helpless others,
so that the affluent and mobile travelers can enjoy the feeling of ‘making a difference’ in
the (neo-colonial?) tradition of bringing modernization to the remote corners of the earth.
This course takes this as a starting point and investigates how images of otherness are
negotiated in key tourist texts (guidebooks, brochures, websites, travel blogs, etc.) to
explore how unequal power-relations between tourists and local communities are played
out. There will be a focus on development oriented volunteer tourism.
This course is aimed at MA students. It is designed to help participants develop both a
theoretical understanding and practical skills to critically analyze media contents in terms
of the intersection of discourse, power and identity with regard to tourism and
development in the global south.
Students will be familiarized with Cultural Studies concepts that help them deconstruct
and denaturalize myths about the ‘self’ and the ‘other’ that are at play in tourism and
some development discourse. Students will select viable examples for discussion (e.g.
contents from guidebooks, brochures, websites, travel blogs, etc.) and investigate the
socio-cultural implications of these examples with regard to hidden power relations and
ideological tendencies that may reside in the texts and the tourist / development
practices they relate to. Readings, group activities and presentations will be rounded off
by discussions, peer-feedback sessions and written assignments.

Assessment and permitted materials

Students will select viable examples for discussion (e.g.
contents from guidebooks, brochures, websites, travel blogs, etc.) and investigate the
socio-cultural implications of these examples with regard to hidden power relations and
ideological tendencies that may reside in the texts and the tourist / development
practices they relate to. Readings, group activities and presentations will be rounded off
by discussions, peer-feedback sessions and written assignments.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Participation and a group presentation on an individual case study (counts 30% towards
final grade), a group portfolio with a write-up about the same individual case study
(counts 40 %), and a written midterm test (counts 30%).
Requirements for a positive grade:
- regular attendance (miss max. two sessions)
- presentation, portfolio, test

Examination topics

Reading list

Texts will be made available on moodle:
Barthes, Roland. ‘Mythologies A Summary by John Storey’. Storey, John. 2006.
Cultural Theory and Popular Culture. Ed. John Storey. 4th Edition. London: Pearson
Education.
Bhattacharyya, Deborah. 1997. ‘Mediating India: An Analysis of a Guidebook’. Annals of
Tourism Research 24(2), 371-389.
Fairclough, Norman. 2003. Analysing Discourse: Textual Analysis for Social Research.
London: Routledge. (read only chapter 3)
Hammett, Daniel; Jayawardane, Neelika. 2009. ‘Performing the primitive in the
postcolony: Nyoni’s Kraal in Cape Town’. Urban Forum 20, 215-233.
KhosraviNIK, Majid. 2010. ‘Actor Description, Action Attributions, and Argumentation:
Towards a Systematization of CDA Analytical Categories in the Representation of Social
Groups’. Critical Discourse Studies 7(1), 55-72.
Lisle, Debbie. 2008. ‘Humanitarian travels: Ethical communication in Lonely Planet
guidebooks’. Review of International Studies 34, 155-172.
Urry, John; Larsen, Jonas. 2011. The Tourist Gaze 3.0. London: Sage. (read only
chapter 1)
Watson, Marcus D. 2013. ‘The Colonial Gesture of Development: The Interpersonal as a
Promising Site for Rethinking Aid to Africa’. Africa Today (59)3, 3-28.

Association in the course directory

IE: VM4, VM6
Geographie: MG-S6-PI.f, MG-W4-PI, L2-b-zLV

Last modified: Fr 31.08.2018 08:51