Skip to main content


Matilde Córdoba Azcárate: Tourism Geopolitics Assemblages of Infrastructure, Affect, and Imagination (2022)

book cover of Tourism Geopolitics showing graphic rainbow concentric circles on black

Tourism Geopolitics: Assemblages of Infrastructure, Affect, and Imagination

Matilde Córdoba Azcárate (Editor)

with Mary Mostafanezhad (Editor), Roger Norum (Editor)


Mostafanezhad, M., Azcárate, M. C., & Norum, R. (Eds.). (2021). Tourism Geopolitics. University of Arizona Press.


By the start of the century, nearly one billion international travelers were circulating the globe annually, placing tourism among the worlds’ most ubiquitous geopolitical encounters. While the COVID-19 pandemic brought the industry to a sudden halt, its geopolitical significance remained. With striking clarity, tourism desires and reinvented mobilities revealed the impermanence of Old World orders as new global alliances were forged. While scholars have critically examined tourism in the contexts of development, cultural change, and environmental crisis, much less attention has been paid to the geopolitical drivers and consequences of the world’s largest industry. This collection homes in on tourism and its geopolitical entanglements by examining its contemporary affects, imaginaries, and infrastructures. It develops the concept of tourism geopolitics to reveal the growing centrality of tourism in geopolitical life, as well as the geopolitical nature of the tourism encounter.

In Tourism Geopolitics, contributors show enacted processes such as labor migration, conservation, securitization, nation building, territorial disputes, ethnic cleansing, heritage revitalization, and global health crisis management, among others. These contended societal processes are deployed through tourism development initiatives that mobilize deeply uneven symbolic and material landscapes. The chapters reveal how a range of experiences are implicated in this process: museum visits, walking tours, architectonical evocations of the past, road construction, militarized island imaginations, gendered cultural texts, and official silences. Collectively, the chapters offer ethnographically rich illustrations from around the world that demonstrate the critical nature of tourism in formal geopolitical practices, as well as the geopolitical nature of everyday tourism encounters. This volume is a vital read for critical geographers, anthropologists, and political scientists, as well as scholars of tourism and cultural studies.

Contributors: Sarah Becklake, M. Bianet Castellanos, Matilde Córdoba Azcárate, Jason Dittmer, Klaus Dodds, Jamie Gillen, Simon Halink, Jordan Hallbauer, James Igoe, Debbie Lisle, Mary Mostafanezhad, Dieter K. Müller, Roger Norum, Alessandro Rippa, Ian Rowen, Robert Saunders, Juan Francisco Salazar, Tani Sebro, Mimi Sheller, Henry Szadziewski, Vernadette Vicuña González, Emma Waterton

Lilly Irani: Redacted (2021)

Cover of Irani's book Redacted: bright yellow with red, black, and blue modern shape art


Lilly Irani and Jesse Marx

Taller, California, 2021



As involuntary art works, redacted documents visually state the limits between secrecy and public information. With a trenchant sense of irony, Marx and Irani analyze the many “styles” and “hands” of censorship, as revealed by a collection of public records from San Diego. Why are some public records requests denied? Why is some information revealed and other information redacted? What does public information mean for democracy, for trust in government and amongst ourselves? Redacted, a delightfully eclectic and playful combination of personal reflection, critical analysis, practical tips, and interviews, dives into the byzantine world of public records requests, a world of government redactors, lawyers, public officials, corporations, and citizens wrangling over the availability of information.

Alex Fattal: Shooting Cameras for Peace/Disparando Cámaras para la Paz (2021)

Shooting Cameras for Peace / Disparando Cámaras para la Paz

Youth, Photography, and the Colombian Armed Conflict / Juventud, Fotografía y el Conflicto Armado Colombiano



"The book is the capstone of a nineteen year process, including the founding of a Colombian non-profit that gave marginalized youth in the far outskirts of Colombia the opportunity to take their own photographs and tell their own stories.

The report entitled, “Zooming to the Border for Human Rights: A fact-finding report on the ongoing violations of human rights at the U.S.-Mexico Border” draws from a series of public Zoom panels in consultation with community groups working on issues pertaining to migration, labor and the environment on both sides of the border and along its full east- west extension from the Gulf Coast the the Pacific Ocean. Originally conceived as a face-to-face fact-finding trip , rather than canceling the project, we switched to a virtual format during the height of the pandemic. The report, therefore, also documents the added impact of COVID-19 the already dire and dismal conditions at the border as well as the valiant efforts in these border communities to meet this additional challenges.  In addition to working on the executive summary, Joe and I co-authored two chapters in the report.  

This is, I think, a good example of the kind of public facing research and engaged learning that are valued in the Communication Department. I incorporated these panel discussions in my winter course,“COMM 111C "Global Borders: Communication and Conflict”  with great success. The project is ongoing, and we hope to hold an in-person conference with all the panelists in 2022-2023."

~ Assistant Professor Alex Fattal

The document is currently being disseminated among activists, journalists and policy makers. The report as well recordings of the panel discussions are both available on-line at:

Matilde Córdoba Azcárate: Stuck with Tourism: Space, Power, and Labor in Contemporary Yucatan (2020)

book cover of Córdoba Azcárate's "Stuck with Tourism" showing a wooden structure in the desert

Stuck with Tourism: Space, Power, and Labor in Contemporary Yucatan

Matilde Córdoba Azcárate

University of California Press, 2020



2020 Book Prize, Society for Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology

2020 Nelson Graburn Book Prize at the American Anthropological Association, Anthropology of Tourism Interest Group


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.

Download a flyer for this book which includes a discount from the publisher. 


"This original ethnography offers a new theoretical perspective on tourism and its impact on local communities. Rather than accepting the received view that tourism benefits the inhabitants of a place, it takes a more critical perspective that uncovers how tourism restructures every aspect of the environment and the economy through its predatory and extractive practices."––Setha M. Low, Distinguished Professor of Environmental Psychology, Anthropology, Earth and Environmental Sciences, and Women's Studies, The Graduate Center, City University of New York

"Through deep ethnographic detail, Matilde Córdoba Azcárate captures the sensorial life that tourism's lopsided national economies and intercultural encounters bring to the Yucatán. She follows the labor that holds up the gamut of cosmopolitan, ecotouristic, and indigenous fantasy worlds engineered by tourist desire, updating Jamaica Kincaid's observations about the perverse gifts of tourism. Stuck with Tourism exposes the steep price tourism extracts from the men and women caught in it, as well as the struggles and dreams that sustain them."––Vernadette Vicuña Gonzalez, author of Securing Paradise: Tourism and Militarism in Hawai'i and the Philippines

“Stuck with Tourism is an extremely compelling account of the spatial, cultural, and ecological impacts of tourism in the Yucatan region of Mexico, with implications far beyond. Córdoba Azcárate grounds her analysis in more than a decade of ethnographic immersion in sites representing beach resort tourism, nature tourism, cultural tourism, and a factory producing goods for the tourist market. She sensitively portrays how tourism geographies are predator, and how workers, regions, and nations get “stuck” with tourism as a developmental trap, even while holding out hope for better futures. Incorporating the latest theoretical literature on tourism in an accessible way, the book reorients the imagination of tourism as encounter toward a consideration of tourism’s crucial role in the production of space, scale, and mobilities in the face of ecological crisis.” ––Mimi Sheller, Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center for Mobilities Research and Policy, Drexel University

About the Author

profile photo of Matilde Córdoba Azcárate, a brunette femme smilingDr. Matilde Córdoba Azcárate holds a PhD in Sociocultural Anthropology from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (2007), where she also received a B.A in Sociology (2001) , and a B.A and M.As in Social Anthropology (2003, 2005).

Prior to joining the Communication Department as a faculty member, Córdoba Azcárate has have worked as an Assistant Professor, Anthropology Department, Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM) (2007-2013); a Fulbright Post-doctoral Fellow at the Earth and Environmental Sciences Program and The Center for Place, Culture and Politics at The Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY) (2010-2012); and more recently, as a Lecturer at the Department of Communication and a Research Fellow at The Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, University of California, San Diego (2013-2016).

Córdoba Azcárate's research has been funded by The Fulbright Postdoctoral Program (2010-12); The Institute for Science, Innovation and Society, University of Oxford (2010-2011); The National Plan for Research and Development, Ministry of Science and Innovation, Spain (2004-2008; 2008-2011; 2012-2015) and more recently, the UC San Diego’s Non-Senate Faculty Development Awards (2015; 2016).

Her teaching interests include critical globalization; cultural industries and consumer cultures; tourism as a social form; the ideology and production of nature; capitalism and its ecologies; ethnographic methods. Currently she is part of the editorial boards of Revista de Antropología Social, the Journal Transfers: an interdisciplinary journal on mobility studies, and Etnográfica.

Fernando Domínguez Rubio: Still Life Ecologies of the Modern Imagination at the Art Museum (2020)

Book cover showing a landscape painting in an environment controlled glass case in a musem

Still Life: Ecologies of the Modern Imagination at the Art Museum

Fernando Domínguez Rubio

University of Chicago Press, 2020



Association for the Study of Arts of the Present: ASAP Book Prize

ASA Culture Section: Mary Douglas Prize

Science, Knowledge, and Technology section, American Sociological Association: Robert K. Merton Award (Honorable Mention)


How do you keep the cracks in Starry Night from spreading? How do you prevent artworks made of hugs or candies from disappearing? How do you render a fading photograph eternal—or should you attempt it at all? These are some of the questions that conservators, curators, registrars, and exhibition designers dealing with contemporary art face on a daily basis. In Still Life, Fernando Domínguez Rubio delves into one of the most important museums of the world, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, to explore the day-to-day dilemmas that museum workers face when the immortal artworks that we see in the exhibition room reveal themselves to be slowly unfolding disasters.

Still Life offers a fascinating and detailed ethnographic account of what it takes to prevent these disasters from happening. Going behind the scenes at MoMA, Domínguez Rubio provides a rare view of the vast technological apparatus—from climatic infrastructures and storage facilities, to conservation labs and machine rooms—and teams of workers—from conservators and engineers to guards and couriers—who fight to hold artworks still.

As MoMA reopens after a massive expansion and rearranging of its space and collections, Still Life not only offers a much-needed account of the spaces, actors, and forms of labor traditionally left out of the main narratives of art, but it also offers a timely meditation on how far we, as a society, are willing to go to keep the things we value from disappearing into oblivion.


David Serlin: The Routledge History of American Sexuality (2020)

Book cover of showing a black and white sketch of a raucus tavern scene

The Routledge History of American Sexuality

Kevin P. Murphy, Jason Ruiz, and David Serlin, eds.

New York and London: Routledge. 2020.



The Routledge History of American Sexuality brings together contributions from leading scholars in history and related fields to provide a far-reaching but concrete history of sexuality in the United States.

This interdisciplinary group of authors explores a wide variety of case studies and concepts to provide an innovative approach to the history of sexual practices and identities over several centuries. Each chapter interrogates a provocative word or concept to reflect on the complex ideas, debates, and differences of historical and cultural opinions surrounding it. Authors challenge readers to look beyond contemporary identity-based movements in order to excavate the deeper histories of how people have sought sexual pleasure, power, and freedom in the Americas.

This book is an invaluable resource for students or scholars seeking to grasp current research on the history of sexuality and is a seminal text for undergraduate and graduate courses on American History, Sexuality Studies, Women’s Studies, Gender Studies, or LGBTQ Studies.

List of Books Published pre-2019

Lilly Irani. Chasing Innovation: Making Entrepreneurial Citizens in Modern India. (Princeton University Press, 2019).

Shawna Kidman. Comic Books Incorporated: How the Business of Comics Became the Business of Hollywood. (University of California Press, 2019).

Tanaka, Stefan. History without Chronology. (Lever Press, 2019).

Fattal, ALexander. Guerrilla Marketing: Counterinsurgency and Capitalism in Colombia. (University of Chicago Press, 2018).

Gary Fields. Enclosure: Palestinian Landscapes in a Historical Mirror (University of California Press, 2017). 

Patrick Anderson. Autobiography of a Disease (Routledge, 2017).

Natalia Roudakova. Losing Pravada: Ethics and The Press in Post-Truth Russia (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming). 

Christo Sims. Disruptive Fixation: School Reform and the Pitfalls of Techno-Idealism (Princeton University Press, 2017). 

Chandra Mukerji. Modernity Reimagined: An Analytic Guide (Routledge, 2017). 

John McMurria. Republic on the Wire: Cable Television, Pluralism, and the Politics of New Technologies, 1948-1984 (Rutgers University Press, 2017). 

Dan Hallin and Charles L. Briggs. Making Health Public: How News Coverage Is Remaking Media, Medicine, and Contemporary Life (Routledge, 2016). 

Carol Padden. Interaction of Morphology and Syntax in American Sign Language (London: Routledge Press, 2016). 

David Serlin, Rachel Adams, and Benjamin Reiss, eds. Keywords for Disability Studies (New York University, 2015). 

Robert Horwitz. America's Right: Anti-establishment Conservatism from Goldwater to the Tea Party (Polity, 2013). 

Valerie Hartouni. Visualizing Atrocity: Arendt, Evil, and the Optics of Thoughtlessness (New York University, 2012). 

Dan Hallin. Comparing Media Systems Beyond the Western World (Cambridge University Press, 2012). 

Fernando Domínguez Rubio and Patrick Baert, eds. The politics of knowledge (London: Routledge, 2012). 

Kelly Gates. Our Biometric Future: Facial Recognition Technology and the Culture of Surveillance (New York University Press, 2011). 

Boatema Boateng. That Copyright Thing Doesn't Work Here: Adinkra and Kente Cloth and Intellectual Property in Ghana (University of Minnesota, 2011). 

Elana Zilberg. Space of Detention: The Making of a Transnational Gang Crisis between Los Angeles and San Salvador (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2011).

Patrick Anderson. So Much Wasted: Hunger, Performance, and the Morbidity of Resistance (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2010). 

David Serlin, ed. Imagining Illness: Public Health and Visual Culture (Minneapolis: The University of Minnesota Press, 2010). 

Patrick Anderson and Jisha Menon, eds. Violence Performed: Local Roots and Global Routes of Conflict (Palgrave, 2009). 

Daniel Hallin. Comparing Media Systems: Three Models of Media and Politics (Cambridge University Press, 2006). 

Carol Padden and Tom Humphries. Inside Deaf Culture. Cambridge, (MA: Harvard University Press, 2005). 

John McMurria, Toby Miller, Nitin Govil, Richard Maxwell and Ting Wang. Global Hollywood 2, with Toby Miller, Nitin Govil, Richard Maxwell and Ting Wang (London: British Film Institute/University of California Press, 2004). 

Gary Fields. Territories of Profit: Communications, Capitalist Development and the Innovative Enterprises of G.F. Swift and Dell Computer (Stanford University Press, 2004). 

David Serlin. Replaceable You: Engineering the Body in Postwar America (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004). 

Stefan Tanaka. New Times in Modern Japan (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004). 

Carol Padden and Tom Humphries. Learning American Sign Language (Second Edition. Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 1992, 2004) 

Brian Goldfarb. Visual Pedagogy: Media Cultures of Education in and Beyond the Classroom (Duke University Press, 2002). 

David Serlin, Katherine Ott, and Stephen Mihm, eds. Artificial Parts, Practical Lives: Modern Histories of Prosthetics (New York: New York University Press, 2002). 

Olga Vásquez. La Clase Mágica: Imagining Optimal Possibilities in a Bilingual Community of Learners (New Jersey: Laurence Erlbaum Publishers, 2002). 

Robert Horwitz. Communication and Democratic Reform in South Africa (Cambridge, 2001). 

John McMurria, Toby Miller, Nitin Govil and Richard Maxwell. Global Hollywood (London: British Film Institute/University of California Press, 2001). Reprint, 2003. 

Keith Pezzoli. Human Settlements and Planning for Ecological Sustainability: The Case of Mexico City. (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2000) 

Daniel Hallin. We Keep America On Top of the World: Television Journalism and the Public Sphere (Routledge, 1994). 

Olga Vásquez, Lucinda Pease-Alvarez, and Sheila Shannon. Pushing Boundaries: Language in a Mexicano Community (Cambridge University Press, 1994). 

Valerie Hartouni. Cultural Conceptions: On Reproductive Technologies and the Remaking of Life (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1997). 

Stefan Tanaka. Japan's Orient: Rendering Pasts into History (Berkeley & Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1993). 

Robert Horwitz. The Irony of Regulatory Reform: The Deregulation of American Telecommunications (Oxford, 1989). 

Carol Padden and Tom Humphries. Deaf in America: Voices from a Culture. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1988) 

Daniel Hallin. The "Uncensored War": The Media and Vietnam (Oxford University Press, 1986).