Lecturer in the American Studies Program and in the Department of Sociology
DegreesDuke University, Ph.D.
Duke University, M.A.
Dartmouth College, B.A.
ExpertiseCultural Sociology, Tourism & Travel, Qualitative Methods, Migration & Mobility, Race & Ethnicity, Visual Sociology
ProfileJillian Powers' current research focuses on the intersection of ancestry and identity. Her manuscript charts the touristic journeys of three different groups of Americans—Jewish American college-aged participants of Birthright-Israel, African-Americans traveling to Ghana, and adopted Chinese children and their American families—as they travel internationally to places of ancestral, natal, and symbolic origin. Based upon participant observation on three homeland tours, interviews with tourists, and a content analysis of tour material and travelogues, this project examines how tourists negotiate the boundaries of belonging and the substance of their ancestral histories within restrictive touristic narratives and the larger “organizing fictions” of rootedness and ancestry. By looking at homeland tourism comparatively, it explores the paradoxes of tourism and the contradictions inherent in foundational categories of identification.
|AMST||55a||Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration in American Culture|
|AMST||143b||The American Tourist|
|EL||94a||Experiential Learning Practicum|
|SOC||128b||Documenting Race, Class and Gender through Photography|