COURSE TITLE:  TOURISM INDUSTRY, THE ARTS,  AND CULTURAL (RE)PRODUCTION IN GHANA

 

Course Description
This course is open to graduate students of various disciplinary backgrounds, especially arts and culture and their specific disciplines such as sociology, cultural anthropology, music and dance, marketing-management and hospitality studies.  The first part explores the historical background of tourism, including political, economic, social, and recreational motivations and implications. In addition, the direct and indirect sources of influences—especially those of  international and UNESCO initiatives—are explored, with focus on ways in which they direct, shape, and sometimes interrogate the production and reinvention of aspects of Ghanaian arts and culture, including marketing, local and foreign consumption practices and their  economic, cultural , and global repercussions.  Contemporary forms of eco-tourism, dark tourism, memory tourism, political economy of collecting/curating tourist art, etc. and issues of transnationalism, identity and historical-cultural consciousness will be studied with attention to the dialectics of African American and Ghanaian interchanges. Symbolic and aesthetic by-products (especially music, dance, and plastic arts) and the various ways in which they dialogue with the local and global markets of human, cultural, ideological, and economic traffics will be explored along with specific strategies and forms of appropriations and techniques of reproduction Ghanaian artists and cultural policy planners adopt or adapt to intensify and diversify cultural production/reinvention in Ghana.  Students will also examine specific national documents and policies, including marketing handbooks and media advertisements. Students will take field trips to designated tourist and arts vendors sites and additionally interact with representative guest speakers of various government and independent  tourist  and NGO organizations. Final assessment will include field reports and seminar presentations.

Course Themes
--Historical background
--Theoretical frameworks; notions of globalism, cultural traffic, and contemporary debates
--Ghana’s “monuments,” tourist sites; cultural policies
--Ghanaian response to Preservation, Conversation, Intangible Cultural Heritage
--Politics of ownership, authenticity, reinvention—1: the arts
-- Politics of ownership, authenticity, reinvention—2: Performing troupes
--Contesting Place/Space: Notions of “home” and the African-American experience
--Modes of Appropriation: the Ghanaian kente cloth and djembe drum
--Critical perspectives on eco-tourism, dark and memory tourism, and contemporary Ghanaian festivals
--Challenges to theories of change and  innovation and the future local artistic practices

Course Readings

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