There has long been a fascination with travel and the places that traveling takes us. From ink illustrations in books documenting the travels of early “explorers” to the carefully edited images that flood social media, travel and tourism continue to ignite our curiosity. Each day in this two-week course, you will travel to a different tourist destination. Tourist sites and experiences will include the summiting of Mount Everest as an example of adventure tourism, the “get-away” vacation on “tropical” islands in the Caribbean and Pacific, ecotourism in Central and South America, volunteering as “voluntourism” opportunities, the domain of Disney, the US National Parks system, and cruises across the world’s oceans and waterways. You will be asked to bring your own tourist interests, experiences, and aspirations to this course for projects and class discussions. Individually and collaboratively, you will analyze films, works of art, and academic, historical, and popular press readings in preparation for class discussions, creative assignments, and research projects..
With the examination of each tourist site, students will reflect on and analyze the cultural production of tourism. You will be introduced to the origins of tourism, the effect of tourism on local people, the labor that upholds spaces of tourism, the representational dynamics of tourist destinations, and tourism’s environmental impacts. Students will apply the histories of empire, medicine, ethnography, visual culture, and technology to each case study. We will learn about the historical trajectory of tourism, why we continue to romanticize the places of elsewhere, and what exactly composes a tourist site. Who is a tourist? What is the value of tourism? Who is harmed, and who benefits from the industry?
By the conclusion of this course, students will be able to:
There are no prerequisites for this course.
Online sections of Pre-College courses are offered in one of the following modalities: Asynchronous, Mostly asynchronous, or Blended. Please review full information regarding the experience here.