A new review of my film, 农家乐 Peasant Family Happiness, has just been published online in Pacific Affairs! Written by Tenzin Jinba, Professor of Anthropology at Lanzhou University (Gansu, China) and author of In the Land of the Eastern Queendom: The Politics of Gender and Ethnicity on the Sino-Tibetan Border, he starts his review by noting the questions immediately brought to mind by the film's title: "We may wonder: What does visiting peasant homes have to do with happiness? Are peasant hosts happy, too?" His own research (which I assigned last year in my course on ethnicity and nationalism in East Asia) explores many phenomena experienced and confronted by ethnic minority communities in Sichuan Province due to tourism development and modernization that were very similar to what I have observed and analyzed in Guizhou and Guangxi. I'm grateful for his expert attention to the questions raised by my film regarding ethnic identity in China, development processes, social transformation, and individual ambitions in rural communities. These are issues that are only deepening in meaning and political potential in light of China's poverty alleviation campaign that is being touted as part of the next Five Year Plan. As I continue to visit Ping'an and Upper Jidao nowadays, I'm keenly aware of how tourism is both definitely "here to stay" in both places and how changes in the domestic and global tourism industries, combined with shifting opportunities for village residents, are creating new challenges and possibilities for village social relations and imaginations of what "peasant family happiness" might entail in the future.
Visit my academia.edu page for a full list of past conference papers and other work.