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Staging Tourism

Bodies on Display from Waikiki to Sea World

From Shamu the dancing whale at Sea World to Hawaiian lu’au shows, Staging Tourism analyzes issues of performance in a wide range of tourist venues. Jane C. Desmond argues that the public display of bodies—how they look, what they do, where they do it, who watches, and under what conditions—is profoundly important in structuring identity categories of race, gender, and cultural affiliation. These fantastic spectacles of corporeality form the basis of hugely profitable tourist industries, which in turn form crucial arenas of public culture where embodied notions of identity are sold, enacted, and debated.

Gathering together written accounts, postcards, photographs, advertisements, films, and oral histories as well as her own interpretations of these displays, Desmond gives us a vibrant account of U.S. tourism in Waikiki from 1900 to the present. She then juxtaposes cultural tourism with "animal tourism" in the United States, which takes place at zoos, aquariums, and animal theme parks. In each case, Desmond argues, the relationship between the viewer and the viewed is ultimately based on concepts of physical difference harking back to the nineteenth century.

361 pages | 50 halftones | 6 x 9 | © 1999

Anthropology: Cultural and Social Anthropology

History: General History

Rhetoric and Communication

Sociology: General Sociology

Travel and Tourism: Tourism and History

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Introduction: Touring the Essential
PART I: Staging "The Cultural"
INTRODUCTION: Cultural Bodies: Hawaiian Tourism and Performance
ONE: Let’s Lu’au
TWO: Picturing Hawai’i: The "Ideal" Native and the Origins of Tourism, 1880-1915
THREE: Pictures Come to Life: Rendering "Hawai’i" in Early Mainland Performances
FOUR: Advertising, Racializing, and Performing Hawai’i on Site: The Emergence of Cultural Tourism in the 1920s
FIVE: Tourism and the Commodification of Culture, 1930-1940
SIX: Surfers and "Beachboys": Euro-American Representations of Native Hawaiian Men and Interracial Romance
CONCLUSION: Up to the Present: Profiling Visitors
PART II: Staging "The Natural"
INTRODUCTION: Looking at Animals: The Consumption of Radical Bodily Difference
SEVEN: The Industries of Species Tourism
EIGHT: In/Out-of/In-Fake-Situ: Three Case Studies
NINE: Performing Nature: Shamu at Sea World
CONCLUSION: Bodies and Tourism
References Cited

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