Tourism and Postcolonialism: Contested Discourses, Identities and Representations

Tourism and Postcolonialism: Contested Discourses, Identities and Representations

Tourism and Postcolonialism: Contested Discourses, Identities and Representations

Tourism and Postcolonialism: Contested Discourses, Identities and Representations

Synopsis

Tourism is central to the processes of transnational mobility, migration & globalization, & thus offers the potential to make a significant contribution to understanding the postcolonial experience. Authors from around the world explore the relationship.

Excerpt

Although being an area of great intellectual richness, postcolonialism is also an area of contestation and confusion. The range of contributions to this volume provides good evidence of that. As two academics of European heritage living in a land with its own colonial past and postcolonial present, we are also acutely aware of the tensions involved in interrogating postcolonialism not only in its academic form but also in relation to its day-to-day realities. In undertaking the work that led to this volume, we are therefore conscious that this book seeks to provide a space for different voices to be heard on a topic that, for whatever reasons, has been ignored from much study of tourism, even in postcolonial societies themselves. However, we are also extremely aware that postcolonial pedagogy and research itself needs to be understood within the context of institutional circuits of production and consumption in which it has substantial commodity status. As Bahri observes:

The contradictions inherent in the institutionalization of difference pose a persistent challenge to those who seek to remain critical of the very system that has accorded them their authority and their position…. As teachers drawn in many cases from the elite ranks of universities in ex-colonies, our dilemma is compounded because some of us both teach and embody the margins. We teach, 'translate,' and make available through a filter of postcolonial history and theory the 'voices' (nothing less than the 'voice' will do, given our rhetoric of speaking and being listened to as if an actual exchange were being enacted that transcended the merely academic) simultaneously reinstated in the periphery as they are introduced into the discourse at the center.

(Bahri 1997:279)

To note Bahri and her critique of much postcolonial writing and theory is therefore to reinforce the notion that critical intervention through an examination of postcolonial pedagogy and theory must be formulated within a thorough understanding of its institutional and discursive context and the power relations of the academy. Therefore, we are more than aware of the

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