The Newberry Seminar in Rural History: Leisure and Consumption
Saturday, February 7, 2004 from 11:00am to 3:00pm.
Admission is free, pre-registration is required.
To register e-mail or call.
The following two papers will be pre-circulated and discussed at the conference:
“Vacation without Humiliation:” African-American Family Travel in Postwar America
Susan Sessions Rugh, Brigham Young University
The family vacation became a standard feature of American life after World War II, but African Americans found their mobility limited by Jim Crow laws in the South and outright discrimination elsewhere. Many travelers turned to guides listing establishments that catered to a black clientele, while others tested the color line in search of a “vacation without humiliation.” This paper challenges accepted notions of Cold War period travel by examining the African-American experience, and argues that the image of humiliation in front of one’s children was important in gaining support for the Civil Rights Act (1964). Ironically, the promise of equal treatment lured African Americans to national motel and dining chains, resulting in declining fortunes for black-owned resorts and eateries in rural areas.
“Recreenering” Nature: Land Use, Conservation, and Tourism in the Upper Great Lakes
Aaron Shapiro, University of Chicago
During the interwar years, the number of Americans taking vacations
expanded. Seeking to take advantage of this trend, tourist agents and
government officials marketed vacations in the rural Upper Great Lakes to potential vacationers from cities, suburbs, and even small towns as retreats, and to local residents as a means to revive their economies. Part of the larger project, “Creating the Metropolis’s Nature: Rural Tourism in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, 1910-1965,” this paper examines the various actors who re-imagined the region’s landscape into a tourist attraction and the local people who contested and accepted various policies regarding land use. Combining recreation with engineering resulted in a “recreenered” landscape, which suggests that conservation initiatives were intimately connected to tourist development.
Co-Sponsored by the Newberry Library and the University of Chicago.
E-Mail or call to request copies of papers.
Dr. Willliam M. Scholl Center for Family and Community History
The Newberry Library
60 W. Walton St.
Chicago, IL 60610
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