Call for Publication: Essays in Virtual Dark Tourism (May 1, 2016)

full name / name of organization: 
Kathryn N. McDaniel
contact email: 

Call for Publication: Essays in Virtual Dark Tourism

"Call it a pilgrimage, perhaps." --C.L. Moore, Vintage Season

Dark Tourism studies are expanding as scholars, largely from public history fields, have become interested in the phenomenon of thanatourism: people's fascination with traveling to places that have witnessed death or that recreate sites of calamity, war, and destruction. Ranging from the comical to the profoundly moving, these sites connect people to the past in tangible ways through objects, spaces, exhibits, and dramatic recreation.

The desire to journey to dark places of the past also extends to the realm of the imagination. Artists, writers, filmmakers, and designers of video games (like Assassin's Creed among others) have created virtual Dark Tourism experiences for armchair travelers by having people participate in imaginary voyages to lands and times where terrible acts have occurred. Shaping popular memories of historical disasters, these simulated journeys bring the past into the present, encourage empathy for past peoples, provide opportunities for public grieving and spiritual questioning, produce vicarious thrills and chills, offer solace for tragic losses, and invite reflection on the possibility of catastrophe in the here-and-now.

You are invited to submit a 300-500 word abstract for an edited volume of essays on the topic of Virtual Dark Tourism. Submissions will be accepted from a range of disciplinary perspectives which analyze any creative work that attempts to take readers, viewers, or gamers on imaginary journeys to catastrophic or violent historical locales. The journey or tourism motif should be an evident, important aspect of the work, along with thematic engagement with issues related to history and memory. Please submit a brief (2 page) CV and contact information with the abstract to mcdaniek@marietta.edu by May 1, 2016. Completed papers for accepted submissions will be due September 1, 2016. Palgrave has expressed interest in this book proposal.

Kathryn N. McDaniel
McCoy Professor of History
Chair, Department of History, Philosophy, and Religion
Marietta College
Marietta, Ohio 45750
mcdaniek@marietta.edu