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Czas Kultury: Special Issue: From Secondhand Testimonies to Commodifications of Death - Dark Tourism Since 1945 Till Today

Deadline: 15 Sep 2017

Although the roots of thanatotourism and 'dark tourism' can be traced as far back as antiquity, in the era of mobility and democratized travel sites of memory have been subjected to ongoing commercialization. This phenomenon provokes a range of questions: How to develop sites of disasters and mass death to ensure a proper balance between respect for the victims, on the one hand, and the comfort of visitors and touristic potential, on the other? How should one approach visits to such places? Are death and memory eventually doomed to commodification? Can one act as a secondhand witness upon passing of the last survivors? Why the need for the admonishing 'No Smoking' plates at Auschwitz-Birkenau? Why are present-day railbuses from Lublin to Bełżec casually announced as 'Special Trains'? To what extent can thanatotourism act as a factor of identity? How is it related to sacralizing discourses, martyrological narratives, politics of memory, etc.?

We are seeking proposals of theoretical texts, comparative analyses, case studies, photo essays, etc., addressing the broadly defined thanatotourism and “dark tourism” since World War II.

Possible topics for exploration include, but are not limited to:

* the ethics of thanatotourism (educational and touristic excursions to sites of memory, development of tourist infrastructure, dress codes and savoir vivre at sites of memory, etc.);
* thanatotourism as a medium that shapes and galvanizes imagined communities (national, ethnic, religious, etc.)
* the specificity of dark tourism in Poland and abroad;
* the impact of (post)Christian and pilgrimage traditions on thanatotouristic formulas in Poland and abroad;
* sites of memory as thanatotouristic palimpsests, strategies of preservation of memory: from non-interference to hyperreal reconstruction (e.g. House of the Wannsee Conference in Berlin, Museum – Memorial Site in Bełżec, Lorraine Motel in Memphis, 6th Floor Museum in Dallas, Warsaw Rising, etc.);
* the commodification of sites of memory and the development of tourism in locations potentially attractive to dark tourists (advertisement, infrastructure, souvenirs, etc.).

Please send completed papers of up to 5,000 words to the email below. Preliminary inquiries should be sent to the same address.

Contact details:
Replace [at] with the appropriate symbol in email addresses where applicable

Filed under: Call for Papers - Publications

Last updated: 18 Jul 2017



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