Benjamin Gardner Publishes Selling the Serengeti: The Cultural Politics of Safari Tourism


IAS faculty member Benjamin Gardner published Selling the Serengeti: The Cultural Politics of Safari Tourism as part of the Geographies of Justice and Social Transformation series at the University of Georgia Press.  The book examines the relationship between the Maasai people of northern Tanzania and the extraordinary influence of foreign-owned ecotourism and big-game hunting companies. It contrasts two major approaches to community conservation—international NGO and state-sponsored conservation efforts on the one hand and the neoliberal private investment in tourism on the other—and investigates their profound effect on the Maasai’s culture and livelihood. It further explores how these changing social and economic forces remake the terms through which state institutions and local people engage with foreign investors, communities, and their own territories. And finally it highlights how the new tourism arrangements change the shape and meaning of the nation-state and the village and in the process remake cultural belonging and citizenship.  There will be a book launch for Selling the Serengeti at the University Bookstore on Monday, February 22 at 7:00PM. Read an interview with Benjamin Gardner about his new book on the UW Today site.