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Fall 2019: Canals and The Atlantic

Fall 2019

Canals and The Atlantic
Professor, Anthropology and Women's Studies

Colleen Ballerino Cohen

Discipline: Anthropology
Vassar College

Colleen Ballerino Cohen is a Professor of Anthropology and Women’s Studies at Vassar College, where she teaches courses on gender, tourism, the Caribbean, ethnographic film, indigenous media, and explorations in ethnographic writing. She regularly leads study trips to Cuba and Mexico for Vassar undergraduates and alumnae. On her most recent study trip she and thirty students spent two weeks exploring the culinary, expressive, and material cultures of southern Mexico. Her research focuses generally on tourism, national development, and expressive culture in the Caribbean, and her publications range from articles on Caribbean Festival and the book, Beauty Queens on the Global Stage: Gender, Contests and Power, to the book Take Me to My Paradise: Nationalism and Tourism in the British Virgin Islands and articles on feminist theory, the novel Perfume, and primate sexuality. Her current research focuses on the impact of climate change on tourism in the British Virgin Islands, and more generally on the role of the child in tourists’ quests for authenticity. Colleen is a proud fifth-generation Los Angeles native, and mother of three sons, none of whom were born in California. In 2005 Ski Magazine named her one of the top 100 ski instructors in North America (which includes Canada but not the Caribbean). She loves ethnographic field research and is passionate about the kind of experiential learning that takes place on Semester at Sea voyages. She sailed on the Spring 2016 voyage and looks forward to introducing a new set of shipboard students to the life-changing experience of being part of the Semester at Sea living-learning community.