wkl


William Kenneth Little

Photo of William Kenneth Little

Department of Anthropology

Associate Professor

Office: 2044 Vari Hall
Phone: (416) 736-2100 Ext: 22327
Email: wkl@yorku.ca


My research focuses most generally on the analysis of society as spectacle, visual culture, and popular cultural performance in both Euro-North American and postcolonial societies. My earliest fieldwork with the European one-ring circus focused on politics and poetics of spectacle and performance in the making of an entertainment culture.

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Kenneth Little’s research focuses on the analysis of society as spectacle, the critical turn in anthropology to the study of affect, social creativity, experiments in ethnographic writing and performativity. He has conducted research on the performative dynamics of tourist safaris in Kenya as spectacle productions and he is now conducting research on the rise of the tourist state in Belize. His Belize research attends to how tourism becomes a significant modality through which contemporary everyday life in Belize is organized and how tourist encounters open imaginative spaces that stimulate new subject productions, highlight new aspects of social relations and interactions with nature that actively ensure new “fantasies of becoming.” Some of his published work can be found in The Journal of Tourism and Cultural Change, Emotion, Space and Society, Semiotic Inquiry, and in the on-line journal In-Tensions and in book chapters in edited volumes such as Tourism Imaginaries through and Anthropological Lens, Emotion in Motion: Tourism, Affect and Transformation and The Varieties of Sensory Experience: A Source Book in the Anthropology of the Senses. Little’s work explores new ways of thinking tourism through flows, processes, and bodily interconnections in touristic encounters, attachments, productions and narratives as a means of tracking the enactments of subject making under the pressures of emergent transformations of public culture in neoliberal Belize. He has also been committed to developing a generative poetics of tourism encounter that understands writing as inseparable from our engagement with the world; writing ethnography as an occurant art. In 2008 he was appointed a Visiting Research Professor at the Centre for Tourism and Cultural Change, an appointment he held for five years. He is finishing a book length manuscript on paradise encounters in the magical tourist state of Belize entitled On the Nervous Edges of an Impossible paradise: Affect, Tourism, Belize.

Degrees

Ph.D, Anthropology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia. Dissertation Title: Inventing Circus Clowns: The Irony and Parody of Pastiche In the Modern European Circus. 1988
M.A., Anthropology, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario. Thesis Title: Life History and Understanding Personal Meanings. 1979
B.A., Anthropology, University of Victoria, Victoria, B.C. 1975

Appointments

Faculty of Graduate Studies

Research Interests

, Cultural Anthropology
Books

Publication
Year

2011 “On Edge in an Impossible Topics” In David Picard and Mike Robinson, eds., Emotion in Motion: Tourism, Awe and Inner Journeys, Pp. 163-186. Farnham: Ashgate Publishing Ltd.

2011 “The Tourists are Just Wild about Harry, or Not: Becoming Insensible on a Beach in Belize.” In David Picard, ed. Tourism and the Seductions of Difference. Conference Proceedings of the Tourism Contact, Culture Research Network (TOCOCU), Lisbon, Portugal.

2010 “Paradise is as Paradise Doesn’t: Tourist Encounters on Edge, at the Edge of a Beach in Belize” In Mike Robinson, ed. Resorting to the Coast: Tourism, Heritage and Cultures of the Seaside. Conference Proceedings, Blackpool, UK. Centre for Tourism and Cultural Change and the Institute of Northern Studies, Leeds-Metropolitan University (On line)

2010 “On the Nervous Edge of an Impossible Tropics” In Jeremy Kuster and Mike Robinson, eds. Emotion in Motion: The Passion of Tourism, Travel, and Movement. Conference Proceedings, Centre for Tourism and Cultural Change, Leeds-Metropolitan University, (On Line).

2010 “Paradise from the Other side of Nowhere: Troubling a Troubled Scene of Tourist Encounter in Belize.” Journal of Tourism and Cultural Change. Vol. 8, No. 1-2: 1-14.

2009 “On the Nervous Edge of an Impossible Tropics.” In-Tensions Vol. 3 (Fall):1-28(http://www.yorku.ca/intent/issue3/).

2009 “Slobodin as Example: A Note on the Dialectics of Style” In Richard J. Preston, ed. A Kindly Scrutiny of Human Nature: Essays in Honour of Richard Slobodin, pp. 25-32. Wilfrid Laurier University Press.

2007 “Belize Ephemera” In Mike Robinson, ed. Things that Move: The Material World of Tourism and Travel. Conference Proceedings, Centre for Tourism and Cultural Change, Leeds, UK: Leeds Metropolitan University. (On-line)

2006 “From Sacrificial Victim to Tourist Icon: An Elvis Presley Pilgrimage and the Making of a Globalized Culture of Spectacle Consumption.” In Mike Robinson and David Picard, eds., Journeys of Expressions V: Tourism and the Roots/Routes of Tourism. The Belfast Conference Proceedings, Centre for Tourism and Cultural Change, Sheffield, UK: Sheffield Halam University. (On-line)

2006 “Circus In Ruins: A Comment on ‘Lions on Display: Culture, Nature, and Totality in a Circus Performance,’ by Yoram Carmelli.” Poetics Today 27(3): 597-614.

2006 “Pitu’s Doubt: Entrée Clown Self-fashioning in the Circus Tradition” In Joel Schechter, ed., Popular Theatre: A Sourcebook. Pp. 138-149. London and New York: Routlegde. (re-issued 1986 article)

2005 “Paradise from the Other Side of Nowhere: Troubling a Troubled Scene of Tourist Encounter” In David Picard and Mike Robinson, eds., Tourism and Performance: Scripts, Stages, and Stories. Conference Proceedings, Centre for Tourism and Cultural Change, Sheffield, UK: Sheffield Halam University. (On-line)

2003 "Pitu's Doubt: Entrée Clown Self-fashioning in the Circus Tradition" In Joel Schechter, ed., Popular Theatre: A Sourcebook. Pp. 138-149. London and New York: Routlegde. (re-issued article)

1995 Talking Circus not Culture: The Politics of Identity in European Circus Discourse. Qualitative Inquiry 1 (3): 346-359.

1994 Reading Archaos: Transgression, Surveillance, and the Spaces of Power in Popular Entertainment. In J. Marriott & I. Neuman (eds.), Sensoria from Censorium 2 . Mangagin Books, pp.1-8.

1993 Masochism, Spectacle, and the ‘Broken Mirror' Clown Entrée: A Note on the Anthropology of Performance in Postmodern Culture. Cultural Anthropology 8 (1): 117-129.

1991 The Rhetoric of Romance and the Simulation of Tradition in Circus Clown Performance. Theme issue, "The Semiotics of the Circus," Semiotica 85 (3/4): 227-255.

1991 A Mutual Parody of Meaning in Circus Clown and Ethnographic Discourse. Theme issue, "From Method to Modesty: Essays on Thinking and Making Ethnography," Culture 11 (1/2): 77-92.

1991 On Safari: The Visual Politics of a Tour Representation. In D. Howes (ed.), The Varieties of Sensory Experience: A Sourcebook in the Anthropology of the Senses. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, pp. 149-163.



Current Courses

Term Course Number Section Title Type
Fall/Winter 2020 AP/ANTH4110 6.0 A Development of Theory in Social Anth. SEMR
Fall 2020 AP/ANTH3350 3.0 A Culture as Performance LECT


Upcoming Courses

Term Course Number Section Title Type
Fall/Winter 2020 AP/ANTH4110 6.0 A Development of Theory in Social Anth. SEMR
Winter 2021 GS/ANTH6011 3.0 M TheoreticalConceptsInEthnographicInquiry SEMR


My research focuses most generally on the analysis of society as spectacle, visual culture, and popular cultural performance in both Euro-North American and postcolonial societies. My earliest fieldwork with the European one-ring circus focused on politics and poetics of spectacle and performance in the making of an entertainment culture.

Kenneth Little’s research focuses on the analysis of society as spectacle, the critical turn in anthropology to the study of affect, social creativity, experiments in ethnographic writing and performativity. He has conducted research on the performative dynamics of tourist safaris in Kenya as spectacle productions and he is now conducting research on the rise of the tourist state in Belize. His Belize research attends to how tourism becomes a significant modality through which contemporary everyday life in Belize is organized and how tourist encounters open imaginative spaces that stimulate new subject productions, highlight new aspects of social relations and interactions with nature that actively ensure new “fantasies of becoming.” Some of his published work can be found in The Journal of Tourism and Cultural Change, Emotion, Space and Society, Semiotic Inquiry, and in the on-line journal In-Tensions and in book chapters in edited volumes such as Tourism Imaginaries through and Anthropological Lens, Emotion in Motion: Tourism, Affect and Transformation and The Varieties of Sensory Experience: A Source Book in the Anthropology of the Senses. Little’s work explores new ways of thinking tourism through flows, processes, and bodily interconnections in touristic encounters, attachments, productions and narratives as a means of tracking the enactments of subject making under the pressures of emergent transformations of public culture in neoliberal Belize. He has also been committed to developing a generative poetics of tourism encounter that understands writing as inseparable from our engagement with the world; writing ethnography as an occurant art. In 2008 he was appointed a Visiting Research Professor at the Centre for Tourism and Cultural Change, an appointment he held for five years. He is finishing a book length manuscript on paradise encounters in the magical tourist state of Belize entitled On the Nervous Edges of an Impossible paradise: Affect, Tourism, Belize.

Degrees

Ph.D, Anthropology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia. Dissertation Title: Inventing Circus Clowns: The Irony and Parody of Pastiche In the Modern European Circus. 1988
M.A., Anthropology, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario. Thesis Title: Life History and Understanding Personal Meanings. 1979
B.A., Anthropology, University of Victoria, Victoria, B.C. 1975

Appointments

Faculty of Graduate Studies

Research Interests

, Cultural Anthropology

All Publications


Books

Publication
Year

2011 “On Edge in an Impossible Topics” In David Picard and Mike Robinson, eds., Emotion in Motion: Tourism, Awe and Inner Journeys, Pp. 163-186. Farnham: Ashgate Publishing Ltd.

2011 “The Tourists are Just Wild about Harry, or Not: Becoming Insensible on a Beach in Belize.” In David Picard, ed. Tourism and the Seductions of Difference. Conference Proceedings of the Tourism Contact, Culture Research Network (TOCOCU), Lisbon, Portugal.

2010 “Paradise is as Paradise Doesn’t: Tourist Encounters on Edge, at the Edge of a Beach in Belize” In Mike Robinson, ed. Resorting to the Coast: Tourism, Heritage and Cultures of the Seaside. Conference Proceedings, Blackpool, UK. Centre for Tourism and Cultural Change and the Institute of Northern Studies, Leeds-Metropolitan University (On line)

2010 “On the Nervous Edge of an Impossible Tropics” In Jeremy Kuster and Mike Robinson, eds. Emotion in Motion: The Passion of Tourism, Travel, and Movement. Conference Proceedings, Centre for Tourism and Cultural Change, Leeds-Metropolitan University, (On Line).

2010 “Paradise from the Other side of Nowhere: Troubling a Troubled Scene of Tourist Encounter in Belize.” Journal of Tourism and Cultural Change. Vol. 8, No. 1-2: 1-14.

2009 “On the Nervous Edge of an Impossible Tropics.” In-Tensions Vol. 3 (Fall):1-28(http://www.yorku.ca/intent/issue3/).

2009 “Slobodin as Example: A Note on the Dialectics of Style” In Richard J. Preston, ed. A Kindly Scrutiny of Human Nature: Essays in Honour of Richard Slobodin, pp. 25-32. Wilfrid Laurier University Press.

2007 “Belize Ephemera” In Mike Robinson, ed. Things that Move: The Material World of Tourism and Travel. Conference Proceedings, Centre for Tourism and Cultural Change, Leeds, UK: Leeds Metropolitan University. (On-line)

2006 “From Sacrificial Victim to Tourist Icon: An Elvis Presley Pilgrimage and the Making of a Globalized Culture of Spectacle Consumption.” In Mike Robinson and David Picard, eds., Journeys of Expressions V: Tourism and the Roots/Routes of Tourism. The Belfast Conference Proceedings, Centre for Tourism and Cultural Change, Sheffield, UK: Sheffield Halam University. (On-line)

2006 “Circus In Ruins: A Comment on ‘Lions on Display: Culture, Nature, and Totality in a Circus Performance,’ by Yoram Carmelli.” Poetics Today 27(3): 597-614.

2006 “Pitu’s Doubt: Entrée Clown Self-fashioning in the Circus Tradition” In Joel Schechter, ed., Popular Theatre: A Sourcebook. Pp. 138-149. London and New York: Routlegde. (re-issued 1986 article)

2005 “Paradise from the Other Side of Nowhere: Troubling a Troubled Scene of Tourist Encounter” In David Picard and Mike Robinson, eds., Tourism and Performance: Scripts, Stages, and Stories. Conference Proceedings, Centre for Tourism and Cultural Change, Sheffield, UK: Sheffield Halam University. (On-line)

2003 "Pitu's Doubt: Entrée Clown Self-fashioning in the Circus Tradition" In Joel Schechter, ed., Popular Theatre: A Sourcebook. Pp. 138-149. London and New York: Routlegde. (re-issued article)

1995 Talking Circus not Culture: The Politics of Identity in European Circus Discourse. Qualitative Inquiry 1 (3): 346-359.

1994 Reading Archaos: Transgression, Surveillance, and the Spaces of Power in Popular Entertainment. In J. Marriott & I. Neuman (eds.), Sensoria from Censorium 2 . Mangagin Books, pp.1-8.

1993 Masochism, Spectacle, and the ‘Broken Mirror' Clown Entrée: A Note on the Anthropology of Performance in Postmodern Culture. Cultural Anthropology 8 (1): 117-129.

1991 The Rhetoric of Romance and the Simulation of Tradition in Circus Clown Performance. Theme issue, "The Semiotics of the Circus," Semiotica 85 (3/4): 227-255.

1991 A Mutual Parody of Meaning in Circus Clown and Ethnographic Discourse. Theme issue, "From Method to Modesty: Essays on Thinking and Making Ethnography," Culture 11 (1/2): 77-92.

1991 On Safari: The Visual Politics of a Tour Representation. In D. Howes (ed.), The Varieties of Sensory Experience: A Sourcebook in the Anthropology of the Senses. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, pp. 149-163.



Current Courses

Term Course Number Section Title Type
Fall/Winter 2020 AP/ANTH4110 6.0 A Development of Theory in Social Anth. SEMR
Fall 2020 AP/ANTH3350 3.0 A Culture as Performance LECT


Upcoming Courses

Term Course Number Section Title Type
Fall/Winter 2020 AP/ANTH4110 6.0 A Development of Theory in Social Anth. SEMR
Winter 2021 GS/ANTH6011 3.0 M TheoreticalConceptsInEthnographicInquiry SEMR