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Dr. Noel B. Salazar
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About Me:
I obtained my PhD from the University of Pennsylvania (USA) and am currently a Marie Curie Fellow (7th European Community Framework Program) and Post-doctoral Fellow of the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO) at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Leuven (Belgium). In addition, I am a Visiting Research Associate at the Centre for Tourism and Cultural Change, Leeds Metropolitan University (UK).
My research interests include anthropologies of mobility and travel, the local-to-global nexus, discourses and imaginaries of Otherness, cultural brokering, and public interest ethnographies. I have published peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and newspaper articles on these topics in the USA, the UK, India, Indonesia, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Spain, and Colombia.
I am currently writing a book on the anthropology of tour guiding and researching the complex (dis)connections between tourism imaginaries and ideas of transcultural migration (with ethnographic fieldwork in Indonesia, Tanzania, Chile, and Belgium). I am on UNESCO’s and UNWTO’s roster of consultants and an expert panel member of the National Geographic Society’s Center for Sustainable Destinations.
Area(s) of Training
anthropology, cultural anthropology, ethnography, other
Area(s) of Expertise
Tourism, migration, mobility, globalization, cosmopolitanism, culture brokering, Indonesia, Tanzania, Chile, Belgium
Most Recent Degree
Current Area of Employment

[Paperback book] Envisioning Eden: Mobilizing Imaginaries in Tourism and Beyond

*** Sorry for cross-posting ***
Please circulate. For those interested in purchasing this paperback book, there is a great time-limited discount offer.
Envisioning Eden: Mobilizing Imaginaries in Tourism and Beyond
Noel B. Salazar
Berghahn Books, November 2012 [paperback version]
(Vol. 31, New Directions in Anthropology)
As tourism service standards become more homogeneous, travel destinations worldwide are conforming yet still trying to maintain, or even increase, their distinctiveness. Based on more than two years of fieldwork in Yogyakarta, Indonesia and Arusha, Tanzania, this book offers an in-depth investigation of the local-to-global dynamics of contemporary tourism. Each destination offers examples that illustrate how tour guide narratives and practices are informed by widely circulating imaginaries of the past as well as personal fantasies of the future. The author reveals how local guides in Yogyakarta and Arusha insure the continued reproduction and localization of tourist fantasies, but they also use the privileged contact with foreigners to foment their own imaginations of “paradise on earth.” The book focuses on the human mechanics of globalization, cosmopolitan mobility, and the role of the imaginary in giving people’s lives meaning, demonstrating essential ways in which ethnographies of tourism and travel contribute to ongoing theoretical and methodological debates about the local–global nexus.

“Noel Salazar's contribution to understanding globalization and localization processes is informed and persuasive, using tourism-the phenomenon which has turned our world into a global village-to illuminate, par excellence, the resulting intersects, overlaps, and especially clashes now dominating our shared history.”
Jafar Jafari, Founding Editor, Annals of Tourism Research
“I am very impressed with this book. It is the best ethnography of tour guide training and performance to date. Indeed its probing analyses and its many comments make a great contribution to our understanding of contemporary international and intercultural tourism. It is very well written and superbly referenced.”
Nelson Graburn, Professor Emeritus, University of California, Berkeley
“This is a lively and enjoyable book based on rigorous research which highlights the power and persuasiveness of international tourism while, at the same time, critically, it reminds us that tourism is ultimately about people and their stories.”
Mike Robinson, Director, Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage
[This volume] is arguably the best ethnography of tour guide training and performance available, certainly in the context of less-developed nations…This is a very well-written book and, like all good guides, Salazar uses storytelling well to convey his arguments to the reader. The volume is also well illustrated with the author’s own photographs…Salazar draws upon a raft of new theoretical material and research to inform his perspectives, which provides for solid analysis, stimulating discussion and a good springboard for researchers looking to explore similar themes. The writing also benefits from his rigorous fieldwork and own personal experiences. Salazar brings a passion to his work, which makes for an interesting and valuable contribution[Edward Bruner’s foreword is] an unexpected delight.
International Journal of Heritage Studies 
“Envisioning Eden summarises a number of major scholarly discussions, brings them into a fruitful dialogue with ethnographic details, and provides a theoretical roadmap for further investigations of various kinds of mobility and encounters with cultural Others. This volume is highly recommended for students and scholars interested in tourism, globalization, and mobility studies, as well as for scholars with a regional focus on Indonesia or Tanzania.
Social Anthropology/Anthropologie sociale 
“Salazar’s study provides an interesting, innovative and fresh approach to local-to-global dynamics. The strength of the book is its richness in terms of theoretical thinking; Salazar manages to address complex issues in an engaging way and the book contributes much to the theoretical discussions which it tackles"
Noel B. Salazar received his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania and is Research Professor in Anthropology at the University of Leuven, Belgium. His research interests include anthropologies of mobility and travel, the local–global nexus, discourses and imaginaries of Otherness, culture contacts, heritage, and cosmopolitanism.
Noel B. Salazar, PhD
Cultural Mobilities Research (CuMoRe)
Author of Envisioning Eden
EASA Executive Committee (2011-2013)
IUAES Permanent Council National Delegate
IMMRC-Anthropology, University of Leuven
Parkstraat 45, bus 3615, BE-3000 Leuven, Belgium
Tel: +32 (0)475 53.73.13, Fax +32 (0)16 32.59.02

Comment Wall (1 comment)

At 11:45am on February 7, 2010, Kazi Ishtiak Ahmed said…
Hello Dr. Noel, I am happy to read your profile. You are doing great. I feel interested on Tourism and you already are writting book on tourism regarding anthropologial fieldwork methods and techniques. Thats great. Wish you your success to do this job properly. Thanks. Take care.

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