The symposium marks the end of the project ‘Dark tourism in comparative perspective: sites of suffering, sites of memory’, a Franco-British initiative funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council in the UK (and in the context of the ‘Care for the Future’ theme) and the LABEX Cluster of Excellence, Pasts in the Present (Université Paris Nanterre). The project has been situated at the intersection of academic research on: memory and meaning; commemoration and representation; and new developments in the heritage industry around sites of suffering, incarceration and genocide. We have sought to bring together international perspectives from a broad range of disciplinary expertise – history, sociology, comparative cultural studies, museum studies – to offer a comparative and interdisciplinary approach to questions of dark tourism and penal heritage. Members of the project team have focussed on cultures of penal and convict incarceration in France, the UK, Tasmania, and New Caledonia, and also on museums and memorials linked to Holocaust and the genocide of the Tutsi. Central to our concerns have been questions relating to the translatability – across languages, cultures and academic disciplines – of the concept of ‘dark tourism’, and the symposium offers an opportunity to continue this reflection whilst outlining possible future areas of study.

The symposium programme, booking information, and more details are available here.


Picture credit: Institute for Dark Tourism Research, University of Central Lancashire