Tourist Productions

Discipline: Music
Instructor: Kisliuk
Credits: 3
Day: B
Start: 0800
End: 0915
Field Work: Day 3 - Salvador - Friday, 14 November | Brazil Download Syllabus

This course addresses a specific type of niche tourism – music/dance tourism – within the larger context of tourism studies. Through an examination of tourism and an exploration of sites of cultural tourism, students examine the ways in which tourism figures into the formation of musical practices both for tourist and for local consumption. Readings, lectures, discussion, and individual projects will address issues of cultural “authenticity,” globalization, festivalization, heritage activities, and the aesthetic power-politics at play in tourist productions. No previous musical experience is required.  Projects will offer students the opportunity to choose one or two of our ports of call during which to conduct field research and upon which to focus a term essay. We will attend one research lab day as a class (Bahia, Brazil), for which a written critical/descriptive response will be required in light of the issues addressed in the course.

Field Work

Country: Brazil
Day: 3 - Salvador - Friday, 14 November

On our field study day in Bahia we will visit a Condomble tourist site/shrine, and meet with personnel from the cultural center of the bloco afro Ile Aiye. The goal is to have an informal chat (likely over lunch) with performers and producers about their “backstage” experiences, asking what guides their choices for performances, asking them to narrate some of their anecdotal experiences, both positive and negative.  The central issues for our class include asking how those who practice the deep Afro-Brazilian religion feel when re-creating a ‘defanged’ yet “exotic” version for touristic consumption. These questions are in the context of postcolonial Brazilian and global cultural/racial politics, as well as in terms of the history of the Atlantic slave trade and its local ramifications. Later in the day we will attend one or morel tourist shows with our discussion (and class reading) in mind as we observe. Academic Objectives: 1. To have a collective, first hand experience of a tourist production 2. To meet with and discuss the experience that performers have in this context 3. To compare experiences, especially from Ghana and Senegal, with this Brazilian context and prepare to compare with the Cuban context