Joy Sather-Wagstaff, assistant professor of anthropology, published “Heritage That Hurts: Tourists in the Memoryscapes of September 11” in mid-February.
In the book, Sather-Wagstaff argues memorial sites are public spaces that are continuously negotiated, constructed and reconstructed into culturally meaningful landscapes through various performative activities. These activities are not limited to formal commemorative acts but also include tourists’ activities and experiences at memorial sites and post-travel. Sather-Wagstaff’s primary focus is on the former site of the World Trade Center in New York. This site-in-process is compared to other sites, including the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Vietnam Veterans Memorial. She demonstrates how tourists are critical to constructing memorial sites as broadly significant rather than diminishing their social importance and in doing so, challenges existing academic theories on what is called “dark tourism.”
The book is the fourth volume published in the Left Coast Press Heritage, Tourism and Community series.