Sunshine, Booze, and Monkeys: The Anthropology of Florida Tourism
The March meeting will feature a presentation by Jason Wenzel. Florida has attracted tourists for over a century and recent research in historical archaeology and ethnoprimatology helps provide us with a long-term understanding of how tourism has changed in response to various sociocultural processes. Archaeological excavations at two historic hotel sites provides us with direct material evidence into the daily lives of tourists at a former fishing lodge and an elite resort. In addition, documentary analysis of the postcards and brochures of early roadside attractions in Florida illuminates the ways in which nonhuman primates served as objects in the tourist gaze. By synthesizing this research, I will discuss how anthropology is in a unique position to critically assess how during the 1930s, tourism promoters took advantage of the re-legalization of alcohol and the popularity of primates as a means of attracting, and accommodating to a new market of working class, automobile-owning vacationers bound for Depression Era Florida. This presentation is free and open to the public.
Jason currently teaches for Valencia College and Brevard Community College and is a PhD student in anthropology at the University of Florida.
For more information contact Kevin Gidusko at email@example.com or (321) 948-3994.