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adam kaul

Adam R. Kaul

Professor of Anthropology, Sociology and Social Welfare

Dr. Adam Kaul is an anthropologist who studies the economic and cultural impacts of the tourism industry in Ireland, the American Midwest, and more recently in Sweden. Additionally, he is an ethnomusicologist who studies traditional Irish music and busking, and he has also written about the anthropology of death and dying.

Kaul carried out his doctoral ethnographic fieldwork in a small seaside village on the west coast of Ireland called Doolin where he lived for over a year. This study led to his first book “Turning the Tune: Traditional Music, Tourism & Social Change in an Irish Village” (2009). He has conducted subsequent ethnographic fieldwork there for two decades, as well as in sites across Ireland. He focuses on the intercultural interactions that occur in tourist destinations; how tourist sites are reshaped by the rerouting of economic, political, and social capital; and in particular how all of this affects local musicians, artists, street performers, cultural heritage, and social relationships.

He has published numerous articles and book chapters about these topics over the years. Dr. Kaul is also the co-editor of the third edition of “Tourists & Tourism: A Reader”, and co-editor of “Leisure & Death: An Anthropological Tour of Risk, Death & Dying,” which won the 2020 Ed Bruner Book Prize from the Anthropology of Tourism Interest Group.

He teaches a wide range of courses at Augustana College, such as Introduction to Anthropology, Global Connections, A History of Anthropological Theory, Native North America, The Anthropology of Art, and the Senior Capstone seminar. He has also taught in several study abroad trips to Ireland and Greece, in the Augustana first-year course sequence, and in the Honors Program.

adam kaul books


American Cultural Anthropology and British Social Anthropology, Connections and Differences," Anthropology News, January 2006

Music on the Edge: Busking at the Cliffs of Moher and the Commodification of a Musical Landscape, Tourist Studies

TURNING THE TUNE: Traditional Music, Tourism, and Social Change in an Irish Village, Berghahn Books, New York, Oxford

The Limits of Commodification in Traditional Irish Music Sessions, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 2007

Leisure and Death: An Anthropological Tour of Risk, Death, and Dying, 2018

Tourists and Tourism, 3rd ed., 2018

Specializations: Traditional Irish music, Ireland, Globalization, Cosmopolitanism, Midwest, British Isles, Tourism, Popular culture, Ethnography, Sustainability, Heritage, Buskers


  • B.A., Minnesota State - Moorhead
  • M.A., Northern Illinois
  • Ph.D., Durham