Forms of Commemoration: Shrines, Altars, and Dark Tourism

FOLK-F 225 — Fall 2019 — Themester

Days and Times
2:30-3:45 p.m. TR
Course Description

Visiting sites of violent death--from Ground Zero and Columbine to roadside collisions--and leaving flowers, candles, crosses, teddy bears, or cards has become a popular practice. These spontaneous responses to tragedy are culturally, spiritually, and politically meaningful. They transform spaces of death into statements that demand action. Situating these behaviors and practices at the intersections of folk and popular culture, and of pilgrimage and dark tourism, this course explores community traditions related to commemorative forms and rituals including shrines, roadside crosses, commemorative tattoos, virtual memorials, and other informal modes of remembrance.

Instructor: Robert Dobler