A Conversation with Natalia Bloch, Author of "Encounters Across Difference"

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Seminar Presentation

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In this installment of Lexington Books' Anthropology of Tourism: Heritage Mobility and Society's Author Conversation Series, editor Michael A. Di Giovine talks with Natalia Bloch, co-chair of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Science's Commission on International Tourism, and Associate Professor of Anthropology at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland, about her book, "Encounters Across Difference: Tourism and Overcoming Subalternity in India". They discuss the problematic binary in tourism studies--with hospitality and business disciplines often looking at the benefits of tourism and anthropology and critical tourism studies focusing on the negative--and discuss a midway point between the two, one marked with an ethic of potential and aspiration, rather than only constraints. Using a number of vivid case studies from her book, they discuss issues of tourist-host economic collaboration, empowerment, valorization, companionship, and political mobilization that occur in her fieldsites of Hampi and Dharamshala, India. The conversation ends with a short discussion of the tourism industry's complex engagement with diverse refugees at the Polish border, and how they (and the Polish people) react to different cultural groups of refugees in this pandemic-affected, Russia-Ukraine / US-Afghan geopolitical system.

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