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Malinowski Memorial Lecture at LSE: Dr Rupert Stasch

When May 25, 2017
from 06:00 PM to 08:00 PM
Where Old Theatre, Old Building, Houghton Street, LSE, WC2A 2AE
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Primitivist Tourism and Anthropological Research: Awkward Relations

Malinowski Memorial Lecture at LSE: Dr Rupert Stasch  


This lecture draws on my fieldwork studying Cannibal Tours-type encounters between international visitors and Korowai people of Indonesian Papua. Korowai, tourists, and guides regularly assimilate me to tourism-relevant roles, and I regularly notice similarities between tourism participants’ ideas or practices and my own. In the lecture, I explore the ethnography of the anthropology-tourism relation in this research, following a wider well-established genre of productive reflection on anthropology’s alignments and disalignments with other social complexes it both studies and is historically co-implicated with. I emphasize that the diversity of alignments drawn or enacted by different participants does not fit one predictable construal of the anthropology-tourism relation. Concerning the side of tourists, I attach special significance to a minor but theoretically challenging pattern of tourists being “anthropological” not just in a sense of enacting primitivist ideology with historical connections to our discipline, but also being “anthropological” in a sense of taking tourism’s primitivist ideology itself as an object of inquiry, or otherwise developing ideas about tour interactions parallel to my own.

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