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Dr. Matilde Córdoba Azcárate presents: Tourism extraction and moral entrapments: Re-spatializing public beaches, revolutionary pasts, and indigenous labor in Yucatán, México

December 10, 2021 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm


Public beach at Playa Caracol, Cancun

The Public Space Research Group is hosting this year’s last networking event on December 10 at 12pEST with guest speaker Dr. Matilde Córdoba Azcárate presenting her research, Tourism Extraction and Moral Entrapments: Re-spatializing Public Beaches, Revolutionary Pasts and Indigenous Labor in Yucatán, México.

Tourism has become one of the most powerful forces organizing the predatory geographies of late capitalism. It creates entangled futures of exploitation and dependence, extracting resources and labor, and eclipsing other ways of doing, living, and imagining life. And yet, tourism also creates jobs, encourages infrastructure development, and in many places inspires the only possibility of hope and well-being. Stuck with Tourism explores the ambivalent nature of tourism by drawing on ethnographic evidence from the Mexican Yucatán Peninsula, a region voraciously transformed by tourism development over the past forty years. Contrasting labor and lived experiences at the beach resorts of Cancún, protected natural enclaves along the Gulf coast, historical buildings of the colonial past, and maquilas for souvenir production in the Maya heartland, this book explores the moral, political, ecological, and everyday dilemmas that emerge when, as Yucatán’s inhabitants put it, people get stuck in tourism’s grip” Back cover Stuck with Tourism: Space, Power and Labor in Contemporary Yucatán (UC Press 2020)- awarded 2020 Best Book Award of the Society of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology (SLACA), American Anthropological Association (AAA)/


Matilde Córdoba Azcárate is a social anthropologist interested in questions of space, politics, ecology, ethnography and global capitalism. She works as an associate professor in the Communication Department and she co-directs the Faculty and Graduate Research Group Nature, Space and Politics at the University of California, San Diego. Among other publications, she is the author of two recent books: Stuck with Tourism: Space, Power and Labor in Contemporary Yucatán (UC Press, 2020), an ethnographic account of tourism as an organizing force in the predatory geographies of late capitalism as well as the moral and ecological entrapments it creates for local communities. And the co-edited book Tourism Geopolitics (University of Arizona Press, 2021), an interdisciplinary and international collaboration into the growing centrality of tourism infrastructures, affects and representations in geopolitical affairs.


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December 10, 2021
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
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