BHSU professor explores the fascination of dark tourism and death in Geek Speak lecture

Author: BHSU Communications/Wednesday, September 9, 2015/Categories: 2015



   

   

   

       

            

       

       

             

           Dr. Ignatius Cahyanto, assistant professor of tourism and hospitality at Black Hills State University, will give an interactive lecture about a new trend, Dark Tourism &ndash destinations that are identified with death and suffering, why people are attracted to it and how to ethically manage sights. Cahyanto&rsquos lecture "I&rsquoll Take You to the Dark Side: Exploring our Fascination with Death and Disasters" will be Thursday, Sept. 24 at 4 p.m. in room 110 of Jonas Hall on the BHSU campus during World Tourism Days, a global, weeklong celebration of tourism. The lecture is free and open to the public.

           

       

   





A warm breeze, lying on the beach, drinking champagne with a book in the hand &ndash that&rsquos how many imagine a vacation. In recent years, however, visiting cemeteries, haunted houses and disastrous locations have become a phenomenon among world travelers.

Dr. Ignatius Cahyanto, assistant professor of tourism and hospitality at Black Hills State University, will give an interactive lecture about a new trend, dark tourism &ndash visiting destinations that are identified with death and suffering. Cahyanto will explain why people are attracted to these locations and offer advice on how to ethically manage the tourist sites.

Cahyanto&rsquos lecture "I&rsquoll Take You to the Dark Side: Exploring our Fascination with Death and Disasters" will be Thursday, Sept. 24 at 4 p.m. in room 110 of Jonas Hall on the BHSU campus. The lecture is held during World Tourism Days at BHSU, a weeklong celebration of tourism. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Our fascination of death is not unique or a new phenomenon. Why did people travel days just to see gladiators? Or why are horror movies so popular? That thrill connects us to our own identity - one day we are going to die. It is very complex," explained Cahyanto.

The pursuit of death and the dead has been a part of us since ages ago. Around the world death is understood and celebrated differently. It makes tourists rethink their lives, society and rediscover their connection with the outside world, Cahyanto said.

"When you visit disastrous sites your perceptions change. For example, at a concentration camp, if you have a Jewish heritage you will perceive the site in a different way, you will reconnect to your past. It is a different level of reflection that tourists receive," said Cahyanto.

Although dark tourism seems engaging and tourists feel unusual experiences, it also raises a lot of ethical issues, including making a profit from other people&rsquos misery.

"Is it ethical? After the tsunami in Thailand, people wanted to put up a monument. The question is should we put a monument here? If so, what kind of monument? Will it delude the significant meaning of that site once it becomes commercialized as a tourist destination? Will it change the meaning or the sanctity of the place or actual story? Basically you are making money out of people&rsquos death," Cahyanto said.

The Geek Speak is a series of academic lectures and discussions and it is sponsored by the University Honors Program and is held every Thursday at 4 p.m. in Jonas Hall room 110 on the BHSU campus.

Upcoming topics include:

Oct. 1 &ndash "Ethnobotany and Indigenous Lakota Plants" hosted by Jace DeCory, Dr. John Dixson, Justin Ramsey

Oct. 8 &ndash "Now That It&rsquos Too Late: Climate Change and Human Existence" hosted by Matt Bauman.

Oct. 15 &ndash "Robin Hood Redux: How through Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), CEOs Rob From the Poor and Pay the Rich" hosted by Dr. Byron Hollowell

Oct. 22 &ndash "Outgrowing Optimism" hosted by Dr. Tim Steckline

Oct. 29 &ndash "He Who Fears the Wolf Should Never Enter the Forest:  Werewolves Among Us" hosted by Dr. Courtney Huse Wika

Nov. 5 &ndash "Studying Society through the Apocalyptic Novel: The Road, The Year of the Flood, The Stand, and On the Beach" hosted by Dr. Laura Colmenero Chilberg

Nov. 12 &ndash "Speaking on Behalf of the Natural World&rsquos Rights" hosted by Dr. Nikki Dragone

Nov. 19 &ndash "Perspectives on Hunger" hosted by Dr. Trenton Ellis and Dr. John Alsup

To confirm topics, dates, and room numbers, check the BHSU Campus Calendar.

For more information, contact Dr. Courtney Huse Wika, director of the University Honors Program and assistant professor of English, at 605-642-6918 or Courtney.HuseWika@BHSU.edu.
Print

Number of views (250)/Comments (0)

x
script src="/Portals/_default/skins/bhsu18/js/bootstrap.min.js" type="text/javascript">