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Summer Field School in Ethnography
MIRA: Multimedia Interdisciplinary Research in Anthropology
A collaborative and comparative study of tourism destinations and cultures

All courses are conducted in English. Students enroll in three courses for a total of 9 credits at the graduate or advanced undergraduate level. Students may specify on their application what course level is appropriate for their degree program.
Theory and Practices of Tourism Cultures & Ethnography Anth 456 3 credits 24 hrs seminar + 18 hrs experiential learning
Visual Fieldwork Methodologies in Ethnography Anth 596
3 credits 12 hrs seminar + 48 hrs fieldwork
Visual Research of Tourism Cultures Ethn 576
3 credits 16 hrs seminar + 30 hrs experiential learning

Course Descriptions

Tourism Cultures & Ethnography (3 credits)
This Seminar in the anthropology of tourism provides students the opportunity to learn about the core debates and issues of tourism studies. Specifically, the coursework focuses on understanding and analyzing the articulation of body, visuality, and space in tourism cultures.  These three focal points are, in other words, a) performance and performativity; b) visual structures and the semiotics of vision; c) spatial practices and the orchestration of space. Our readings and seminars introduce explore and elaborate the concept of "double articulation" as a methodological paradigm for tourism studies. This framework is developed through readings and provides the theoretical grounding of the independent and collaborative research projects undertaken in the other coursework of the program.  (Components of this course have been used by Castañeda in the NAPA sponsored Workshop on Tourism given at the AAA meetings in 2000, 2001, 2003)

MIRA Fieldwork Methodologies (3 credits)
Seminar in ethnographic methods that focuses on the methodologies of visual documentation, knowledge production, and analysis. A key issue that threads through the seminar is the debate about the difference(s) and the significance of these differences between ethnographic (film/photography) and documentary (film/photography). This already presupposes the problem of the differences between film media and photographic media as well as the difference and value of the difference between these media of "visual research" and the language-based media of "regular" ethnographic fieldwork. The course is structured to provide students the tools to conceive, design, carry out, and complete a research project in visual ethnography. Completed projects are required at the end of the program.

Visual Research of Tourism Cultures (3 credits)
This Seminar in Visual Communication provides students with the tools to analyze the practices, principles, styles, rhetorics, semantics and syntax of the visual cultures of tourism. These analytical and research tools are developed as methodologies by which to investigate the broad range of visual representations that articulate and reverberate the meanings of place and cultural identity of Mérida, Chichén Itzá, and Playa del Carmen.

This course explores ways to conceptualize and conduct visual ethnographic research as well as design and shape the representation and display of these materials for consumption by diverse audiences in video, websites, installation, and other appropriate multimedia documentation. This course emphasizes “design-thinking” as a counterpart to other disciplinary ways of thinking (ethnographic, anthropological, etc) in order to develop interdisciplinary linkages and unexpected/innovative results.  Equipment, such as laptops, video cameras, still cameras (preferably digital), and voice recorders are useful in the field for research and production.

Course Credits
OSEA Summer Courses are transcripted through Facultad de Ciencias Antropológicas de la Universidad Autónoma de Yucatan (FCA-UADY). These credits are transferable to US universities.

With prior approval, credits can satisfy many major, minor, and university requirements. Program faculty are available to speak to students, faculty, and administration regarding the program in general and to ensure appropriate transfer of credit. We recommend students consult with their Study Abroad Office and advisor regarding transfer of credit prior to enrolling in this program. For more information, contact Dr. Quetzil Castañeda.