Being Toured While Digging Tourism: Excavating the Familiar at Chicago’s 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition

  • Rebecca S. Graff


Chicago’s Jackson Park witnessed intense and sustained tourism during the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. Recent archaeological survey and excavation produced information about the tourist experience of the Fair in a somewhat familiar artifactural form. The dig drew local tourists whose appetites for the Exposition were whetted by a bestselling book. At the heart of these multiple touristic consumptions in, and of, Jackson Park lies the central issue—the way that tourists create themselves as modern subjects through the practice of tourism and how this process can be both helped and hindered by the presence of familiar objects.


Tourism Chicago Exposition Modernity 



My thanks belong to Maria O’Donovan and Lynda Carroll for including my work in this volume, and for their helpful comments, along with those of an anonymous reviewer. I wish to thank Shannon Lee Dawdy for her unflagging support in getting this project off the ground, as well as for pointing out to me that my research really did focus on tourism. Thanks also to the participants in the modernity panel at the TAG NY 2008 meetings for their input on an earlier form of this paper, with my travel to that conference supported by the Marion R. and Adolph J. Lichtstern Fund. My appreciation also belongs to Anna Agbe-Davies and Jane Eva Baxter for providing my entry into Chicago archaeology and for their continuous support, and to Megan Edwards, Alan Greene, Michelle Lelièvre, Maureen Marshall, and Andrew Bauer for their comments. My special gratitude belongs to Ryan J. Cook, for his insights and suggestions on this article, and for accepting the familiar dirt and debris in our home during the field season.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyChicagoUSA

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