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In the Dark Without a Light: Understanding Unmediated Sites of Dark Tourism

  • Gary RegerEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

Since many sites of dark tourism are loci of events that took place in the past, tourists may require a form of mediation in order to understand what happened there, why, and to whom. Some such sites, like the Japanese internment camp at Manzanar, are well-mediated. This chapter explores some of the problems the tourist may encounter when faced with sites that are un- or under-mediated: sites with no more than a brief sign (Dean MacCannell’s “markers without a sight”) or to whose still-existing remains tourists are not directed. In many cases, mediating material exists, but is not available to the tourist “on site.” Using the examples of the Bennett-Arcane Long Camp, the Oatman Massacre site, and the Poston War Relocation Center, this chapter explores ways in which knowledge of such material might affect the experience of the tourist. Questions of the role of literary production by participants, “authenticity” of the touristic experience, and the interrelation between dark tourism and the broader field of tourist studies are also considered.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Trinity CollegeHartfordUSA

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