Psychology Professor Discusses ‘Why Tourists Go to Sites Associated With Death and Suffering’

The Conversation | Newsweek | Business Insider
August 21st, 2017 by 


Students of Bitran's summer study abroad course walk through Ponar Forest outside of Vilnius, Lithuania — the site where 72,000 Jewish men, women and children were massacred by the Nazis. Image by Dan Bitran

As a Holocaust educator, Daniel Bitran, professor of psychology at the College of the Holy Cross, travels with his summer study abroad class to a number of Holocaust sites throughout Central Europe. The course aims to provide students with hands-on learning experience — but could it be pegged as just another form of “dark tourism”?

In an article written for The Conversation, Bitran explores dark tourism, which he describes as “an interest in locations that are associated with human suffering and death,” and asks, “What is so problematic about dark tourism? And are there redeeming features that make it worthwhile?”

Read the full article on The Conversation website.

The article was also picked up by Newsweek and Business Insider.

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