UKZN humanities academic wins Ed Bruner Book Prize
Professor Sabine Marschall of the University of KwaZulu-Natal's School of Social Sciences has won the Ed Bruner Book Prize for the publication: Tourism and Memories of Home: Migrants, Displaced People, Exiles and Diasporic Communities.
The award was presented by the Anthropology of Tourism Interest Group of the American Anthropological Association.
"Being a migrant and an avid traveller, I began to reflect, some years ago, on my own fascination with revisiting places that were once significant to me: former homes, my alma mater and other types of important locations," said Marschall. "I found this very meaningful and enjoyed indulging in memories, often triggered by familiar sights, sounds or smells."
As a tourism scholar, she wondered to what extent other people were drawn to walk in the footsteps of their own past and even embark on special journeys to do so.
Tourism and Memories of Home explores such journeys to former, ancestral and imaginary homes or homelands for migrants, exiles, refugees and diaspora groups. It illustrates the close link between identity, memory and places of origin, and how this motivates people in Western societies and beyond to undertake various types of travel and temporary "return" journeys near and far, although they may not consider themselves to be "tourists".
Several case studies in the book illustrate that such travellers may consciously distance themselves, physically and ontologically, from touristic spaces and modes of behaviour, understanding their home (land) trip rather as a personal form of pilgrimage or just as a family visit.
Said Marschall: "Tourism and Memories of Home ends with Nelson Graburn's Epilogue: Home, Travel, Memory and Anthropology, a fascinating contribution that interweaves astute scholarly assessment of the book's key themes with rich personal observations and multifarious experiences of return travel over a long span of life."
Words and photograph: Melissa Mungroo