Michael A. Di Giovine is Assistant Professor of Anthropology in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at West Chester University of Pennsylvania (USA), and an Honorary Fellow in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Michael earned his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago with a dissertation examining pilgrimage, heritage and revitalization associated with the Catholic cult of St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina.
A former tour operator, Michael’s research in Italy and Southeast Asia (Vietnam and Cambodia) focuses on global mobilities (tourism/pilgrimage, and immigration), heritage, development, foodways, and comparative religious movements. The author of The Heritage-scape: UNESCO, World Heritage and Tourism, as well as articles focused on the practices and the ethics behind the heritage and tourism fields, Michael has also co-edited the forthcoming volumes, Edible Identities: Exploring Food and Foodways as Cultural Heritage, Astray: The Seductions of Pilgrimage, and Tourism and the Power of Otherness: Seductions of Difference. The Book Reviews Editor of Journeys: The International Journal of Travel and Travel Writing, Michael sits on the academic board of the Journal of Tourism and Cultural Change, and is a founding member and trustee of both the Tourism-Contact-Culture Research Network and the American Anthropological Association’s Anthropology of Tourism Interest Group. He is also a consultant for museums and heritage sites.
Michael has written and spoken widely on issues concerning UNESCO, world heritage sites, museums, historic preservation, pilgrimage, development, and the uses of tourism as a placemaking strategy. He is currently researching the impact of tourism and heritage on the revitalization of Pietrelcina, Italy and the surrounding province of Benevento.
April 2, 2013
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Michael Di Giovine speaks with Jerome McDonnell of Chicago Public Radio's Worldview (WBEZ FM) on the politics and logistics of a UNESCO designation. Listen to the podcast here.
June 9, 2012
Michael Di Giovine was awarded his Ph.D. in anthropology at the 511th Convocation of the University of Chicago.
January 23, 2011
Michael Di Giovine appointed Book Reviews editor of Journeys: The International Journal of Travel and Travel Writing. This appointment comes shortly after accepting an invitation to serve on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Tourism and Cultural Change both beginning in January 2012. Read more.
January 23, 2011 - Hanoi, Vietnam: Q&A with Michael Di Giovine published in English on Vietnam National University's Asia Research Center website. Just in time for Tet! Chúc mừng năm mới!
December 15, 2011 - Siem Reap, Cambodia
Pisith Svay, Deputy Director of Angkor Tourism Development in Cambodia's APSARA Organization, joined Michael A. Di Giovine in speaking about contemporary challenges and opportunities in managing heritage tourism at the UNESCO World Heritage site of Angkor Archaeological Park in a talk at the Centre for Khmer Studies in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
December 5, 2011 - Quang Ninh Province, Vietnam
Michael Di Giovine lectures to 300 government officials of Quang Ninh Province on the unique challenges on designating the Yen Tu Mountain Complex--an national Buddhist pilgrimage destination--as a UNESCO World Heritage site. He then discussed these issues with the Vice Governor and the heads of relevant provincial ministries in a high level meeting.
December 2, 2011 - Hanoi, Vietnam
Michael Di Giovine became the first invited speaker in Vietnam National University’s new international lecturer series, organized through the university’s Asia Research Center.
April 15, 2011
Michael's article on "Tourism Research as a Form of Global Ethnography" published on Anthropologies, an online collaborative project.
February 24, 2011
Michael A. Di Giovine comments on recent developments between Cambodia and Thailand at Preah Vihear, and the Palestinian Authority's desire to designate Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity as a World Heritage site, in a blog for Rowman and Littlefield Publishers.
August 13, 2010
Michael Di Giovine interviewed on NTR24 TV, Benevento, Italy, on Padre Pio, pilgrimage, and revitalization in Pietrelcina, during the celebration marking the 100th Anniversary of Padre Pio's ordination.
To see more news, click here.
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Michael Di Giovine's monograph, The Heritage-scape: UNESCO, World Heritage, and Tourism, was published by Lexington Books on November 15, 2008.
Praise for The Heritage-scape
This is the most thorough and sophisticated examination of the UNESCO heritage system to date. ... Although he examines events and monuments of Southeast Asia, especially Cambodia, and in Italy, especially Tuscany, in ethnographic detail, his knowledge of the heritage-making process is encyclopedic and critical. This is a book to be enjoyed for its timeliness, its revealing anecdotes, and its attention to contemporary social theory.
- Nelson Graburn, University of California, Berkeley & London Metropolitan University
Debates continue to rage about the economic, political, and socio-cultural significance attached to, and conferred by, the UNESCO designation of "World Heritage." What Michael Di Giovine achieves in this important book, through detailed research and critical theoretical reflection, is grounding these debates in a comprehensive and compelling examination of the motivations, processes, networks, and people which not only shape the meanings of the past but which also project into the future. ... This is clearly an essential book for all interested in the relationships and meanings which lie behind, and are generated by, the notion of World Heritage.
- Mike Robinson, Director, Centre for Tourism and Cultural Change, Leeds Metropolitan University
“The Heritage-scape: UNESCO, World Heritage and Tourism is a valuable compendium and very useful for those like ourselves who have worked near or in relation to World Heritage Sites. ... The book is worth bringing to people's attention.”
- James Fernandez, Professor of Anthropology and of Social Sciences, University of Chicago