Katrina PhillipsMay 21, 2021
Salvage Tourism and the Performance of Native American History
As tourists increasingly moved across the United States in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a surprising number of communities looked to capitalize on the histories of Native American people to create tourist attractions. Locals staged performances that claimed to honor an Indigenous past while depicting that past on white settlers' terms. Linking the origins of these performances to their present-day incarnations, Staging Indigeneity: Salvage Tourism and the Performance of Native American History (University of North Carolina Press, 2021) reveals how they constituted what Dr. Katrina Phillips calls "salvage tourism.” Across time, Phillips argues, tourism, nostalgia, and authenticity converge in the creation of salvage tourism, which blends tourism and history, contestations over citizenship, identity, belonging, and the continued use of Indians and Indianness as a means of escape, entertainment, and economic development.
Dr. Katrina Phillips is assistant professor of American Indian history at Macalester College.
Emily Ruth Allen (@emmyru91) is a PhD candidate in Musicology at Florida State University. She is currently working on a dissertation about parade musics in Mobile, Alabama’s Carnival celebrations.