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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Crispin Thurlow Faber
Bothell Campus

Advanced Topics in Global Studies

Advanced study of a specific topic, problem, or area of the world in order to provide a deeper understanding of an aspect of Global Studies.

Class description

TOURISM AND GLOBALIZATION As a truly global service industry (one of the world's largest international trades) tourism is all-pervading. There are few people whose lives remain unaffected by tourism, be it people privileged enough to tour or people who are "toured." It is precisely because of tourism's scale and influence that scholars in such fields as anthropology, built environments, cultural studies, discourse analysis, geography, linguistics, sociology, and others have increasingly been interested in exploring the cultural practices by which tourism is organized and experienced. This diverse body of research reveals tourism's powerful role in shaping and reflecting such things as the performance of identity, ideologies of difference, meanings of place, and the production and consumption of visual-material culture, all of which intersect with relations of power/inequality. Indeed, tourism seldom merely "represents" cultural difference or "reflects" relations within and between cultures; tourism is also instrumental in producing the very culture that tourists seek to know, and in (re)organizing interactions between individuals, groups, communities and entire nations. Tourism thus serves as an excellent lens through which many people make sense of a particular destination or "culture" as well as the globalized world at large. It is from the perspective of both the traveler and those who are visited by travelers that people - tourists and locals alike - come to understand their place in the world.

This special topics class examines tourism as instrumental in both producing and reflecting globalization, and does so from a transdisciplinary perspective. One of the objectives of the course is to provide an arena in which you are exposed to, and can experiment with, various disciplinary modes of gathering and analyzing data. Throughout the quarter we will look at tourism from various historical, critical, and cultural perspectives.


For students taking BISGST 497 "Tourism and Globalization" and BISGST 303 "History and Globalization" this quarter, Professor Thurlow and Professor Gardner are running a special seminar for exploring connections between the two classes. Students will meet five times in the quarter: Mondays between 5:30pm and 7:30pm on the 14th and 28th January, 11th and 25th February, and 11th March. SPACES ARE LIMITED to 8-10 students. For more information:

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

This class will be organized as an advanced undergraduate seminar. That means it will center around your independent reading, note-taking and classroom discussion. Professor Thurlow will, from time to time, prepare short presentations on key concepts, issues or theoretical frameworks.

Following Week 1, in which there will be a general introduction to the seminar and to tourism, the remainder of the course is organized around four sets of closely intertwined topics that work across tourism and related modes (or sites) of contemporary travel. These will alternate weekly, as follows: in Weeks 2, 4, 6 and 8 we will focus on key topics in tourism; in Weeks 3, 5, 7 and 9 we will focus on affiliated modes of travel. These four linked sets are the following:

Topic: Searching for authenticity and performing identity Mode: "Cultural tourism"

Topic: Ideologies of difference and host-tourist contact Mode: "Luxury tourism"

Topic: Histories and the meanings of place Mode: "Paradise tourism"

Topic: Production and consumption of visual-material culture Mode: "Tragedy tourism"

Throughout the quarter, you will conduct a research project in a setting of your choice that focuses on a tourist site, a mode of transportation, a tourism organization, etc. (A list of possible suggestions will be supplied nearer the time.) You will apply the concepts, theories and issues covered in readings and class discussion when examining your topic. This project may be completed on your own or in groups of two or three (the choice is yours). Either way, you will be organized into research groups as a way to focus and stimulate your progress on this project.

Starting in Week 2, your work on this research project will be "scaffolded" week-by-week according to the kinds of methodological/ analytical steps commonly shared by anthropologists, discourse analysts, and cultural studies scholars:

Week 2 - identify a site and present it briefly to the group Week 3 - describe the site thoroughly Week 4 - situate the site historically Week 5 - examine the textual representation of the site Week 6 - conduct participant observation at the site Week 7 - engage in casual conversations with visitors, performers, employees Week 8 - conduct formal interviews with organizational stakeholders Week 9 - weave the pieces together

The course will culminate in a presentation of the results of your independent research projects.

Recommended preparation


Class assignments and grading

Each week will be organized around a similar set of activities. We will start with a short presentation from those of you who have responsibility for the week's "reading prompt" (see below), followed by a more general response and discussion with the whole class. On this basis, we will then dedicate a good amount of time to an open discussion about the other readings for the week. The rest of the week will be set aside for project work when you will be expected to report back to your research groups about your progress for the week.

My expectation is that if you are taking this class you will be concerned with getting as much out of the course as possible, which means putting in as much effort as possible and committing to the collective enrichment of our "community of learning." At the end of the quarter, I will award a grade based on a series of Credit/No Credit assignments:

1. Reading prompts (10% of grade)

Each week, one (or two) of you will be asked to prepare a reading prompt based on one of the articles/chapters for the week (one article/chapter each if there are two of you). These will be used to initiate our discussions. Each prompt comprises three small tasks to help stimulate the discussion:

- a general question for the class about the reading - a key quote that you found especially illuminating - any issues or concepts about which you would like further explanation

2. Class discussion/contribution (40% of grade)

As in any advanced undergraduate seminar, reading and discussion form the backbone of this course. It is essential that you keep up with the reading and come to class prepared to engage with the readings.

3. Research project (30% of grade)

As explained above, each week you will be working on an independent research project concerned with a tourism site (or mode or industry) of your choosing. This project may be done individually or in groups of two or three. Before coming to class, you will be expected to submit (using the dropbox facility in the class website) documented evidence of your scaffolding activity for the week (see above) and be prepared to talk about this work with others in the class.

4. Final presentation (20% of grade)

Instead of preparing the usual "term paper," you are expected to pull together your research project at the end of the term into a presentation for the rest of the class. These will be short presentations (about five each). Some documented evidence (e.g. a three to four-page handout, a PowerPoint slideshow, etc.) must be submitted online beforehand.

See above

The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Crispin Thurlow Faber
Date: 10/08/2012