Anthropologist to discuss African diaspora tourism in Brazil

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

Rock Island, Ill. – Anthropologist Dr. Stephen Selka of Indiana University will give a lecture on Tuesday, December 9 at 7 p.m. in Room 102 of Hanson Hall of Science (726 35th St., Rock Island). The lecture is free and open to the public.

The lecture, titled “The Promises and Pitfalls of African Diaspora Tourism in Brazil,” will focus on African American tourists at the annual Afro-Catholic festival of Nossa Senhora da Boa Morte (Our Lady of The Good Death) in Bahia, Brazil.

“This festival, which is a sort of pilgrimage destination for middle-class African Americans, has the potential to foster meaningful connections between African Americans and Afro-Brazilians,” said Dr. Selka. “Yet the prospect is complicated by different levels of wealth, different ideas about race, and different patterns of religious affiliation between them as well.”

“I expect that people will walk away with a much more complicated picture of the interaction between tourists, locals and religious pilgrims in Bahia, Brazil, and I think that ‘complicated picture’ is something we could apply to many situations around the world where, because of globalization, cultures are interacting with one another more and more,” said Dr. Adam Kaul, associate professor of sociology, anthropology and social welfare at Augustana.

Dr. Selka is an associate professor of religious studies and American studies at Indiana University. He received his doctorate from the State University of New York at Albany. Dr. Selka, who specializes in religion, tourism, cultural heritage, Latin America and the African diaspora, has published several articles and one book, Religion and the Politics of Ethnic Identity in Bahia, Brazil.

About Augustana:

Founded in 1860, Augustana College is a selective four-year residential college of the liberal arts and sciences. Augustana is recognized for the innovative program Augie Choice, which provides each student up to $2,000 to pursue a high-impact learning experience such as study abroad, an internship or research with a professor. Current students and alumni include 153 Academic All-Americans, a Nobel laureate, 13 college presidents and other distinguished leaders. The college enrolls 2,500 students and is located along one of the world’s most important waterways, the Mississippi River, in a community that reflects the diversity of the United States.