Oct. 19: Ethics, Dark History Tourism, and Public History

This week we will be meeting at the The Old Middlesex County Courthouse at 9:30, and will walk from there to the central branch of the London Public Library where we will meet with Mark Richardson, librarian and author of On The Beat: 150 Years of Policing in London. Mr. Richardson will share some of his knowledge and direct you to some of the resources you can use for the tour/game you are designing.

For an academic introduction to the idea of dark history tourism and the moral and intellectual questions surrounding it, see:  Richard Sharpley, “Shedding Light on Dark Tourism: An Introduction,” in Richard Sharpley and Philip R. Stone eds. The Darker Side of Travel: The Theory and Practice of Dark Tourism (Bristol, UK: Channel View Publications, 2009), 3-22. (Link through Owl).

Then have a look through Derek Dalton, Dark Tourism and Crime (2017). Read the introduction and choose a section that interests you. We can discuss on Nov. 2. (Access online through the library).

“Follow the North Star” in an interesting approach to teaching the history of slavery at Conner Prairie Interactive History Park, in Fishers, Indiana.

The Jack the Ripper Museum controversy. Originally pitched as a museum to commemorate women in the East End of London, England, the institution came under fire for an apparent bait and switch, and the glorification of violence against women. There were numerous calls for the museum to be closed down. The museum also ran a Halloween event last year which sparked further protests.

In response the controversy, a group is pushing to create an East End Women’s Museum, and suggest deeper implications of Jack the Ripper tourism.

Here is a company in Munich which advertises itself as a Dark History Tour provider. Have a look.

An opinion piece from Robert Reid, at National Geographic, “Is ‘Dark Tourism’ OK?” (2016).

(Odds are we will not have time to discuss the details in these readings, so we will pick up the debate on Nov. 2 in class).