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Writing the Dark Side of Travel

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Writing the Dark Side of Travel

Edited by Jonathan Skinner

228 pages, 9 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-0-85745-341-9 $29.95/£23.95 Pb Published (March 2012)

eISBN 978-0-85745-876-6 eBook

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The greatest insights and discoveries come from actively exploring and mapping out the fertile connections between the different essays. If readers are willing to do this, they will, I think, ultimately find that the book provides a very stimulating engagement with both the dark side of travel, and the dark side of travel writing.”  ·  Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

This volume is truly coherent and contributes to a better understanding of a little appreciated aspect of contemporary tourism. It will certainly become a standard reference work in the field of anthropology of tourism and tourism studies. Despite the “darkness” of the issues addressed, it must be considered a very colourful success.”  ·  Social Anthropology/Anthropologie sociale


The travel experience filled with personal trauma; the pilgrimage through a war-torn place; the journey with those suffering: these represent the darker sides of travel. What is their allure and how are they represented? This volume takes an ethnographic and interdisciplinary approach to explore the writings and texts of dark journeys and travels. In traveling over the dead, amongst the dying, and alongside the suffering, the authors give us a tour of humanity’s violence and misery. And yet, from this dark side, there comes great beauty and poignancy in the characterization of plight; creativity in the comic, graphic, and graffiti sketches and comments on life; and the sense of profound and spiritual journeys being undertaken, recorded, and memorialized.

Jonathan Skinner is Senior Lecturer in Social Anthropology at Queen's University Belfast. He is the author of Before the Volcano: Reverberations of Identity on Montserrat (Arawak Publications 2004), and co-editor of Managing Island Life (University of Abertay Press 2006) and Great Expectations: Imagination and Anticipation in Tourism (Berghahn 2011).

Subject: Travel and Tourism Anthropology (General) Cultural Studies (General) Memory Studies


List of Illustrations

Introduction: Writings on the Dark Side of Travel
Jonathan Skinner

Chapter 1. Between Trauma and Healing: Tourism and Neoliberal Peacebuilding in Divided Societies
John Nagle

Chapter 2. Sebald’s Ghosts: Travelling among the Dead in The Rings of Saturn
Simon Cooke

Chapter 3. Graphic Wounds: The Comics Journalism of Joe Sacco
Tristram Walker

Chapter 4. Visiting Rwanda: Accounts of Genocide in Travel Writing
Rachel Moffat

Chapter 5. Walking Back to Happiness? Modern Pilgrimage and the Expression of Suffering on Spain’s Camino de Santiago
Keith Egan

Chapter 6. Shades of Darkness: Silence, Risk, and Fear among Tourists and Nepalis during Nepal’s Civil War
Sharon Hepburn

Chapter 7. Beyond Frames: The Creation of a Dance Company in Healthcare through the Journey of Brain Trauma
Jenny Elliott

Chapter 8. The House on the Hill: An Analysis of Australia’s Stolen Generations’ Journey into Healing through the Site of
Fiona Murphy

Chapter 9. Exploring Landscapes after Battle: Tourists at home on the old Front Lines
Jennifer Iles

Notes on Contributors

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