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My research interests encompass the related areas of tourism studies, historical anthropology, and colonial and postcolonial studies. My current research in Belize is on the construction of touristic ethnicity and considers how sites of ethnic tourism provide a venue for the regulation of civic conduct through which residents come to understand themselves as citizens of Belize. The central aim of this ongoing project is to examine how tourism serves as a foundation for the development of national identity and notions of citizenship. I have also conducted research in Kenya on issues of identity, representation, and power in colonial society. I am now completing a book based on this research entitled A House for the Kager: Contesting Relatedness in Colonial Kenya, which shows how forms of kinship, as constructed by British colonizers, were contested and re-negotiated by local populations as part of their response to colonial domination. My continued work in this area investigates the significance of local and state discourses of kinship in contemporary Kenyan society, exploring the possibility that public kinship continues to afford a meaningful source of identity for the framing of political action.

York University