Department Chair

Andrew D. Nicholls, Ph.D.

Date of Award


Access Control

Open Access

Degree Name

Museum Studies, M.A.


History and Social Studies Education Department


Cynthia A. Conides, Ph.D

Department Home page

First Reader

Cynthia A. Conides, Ph.D

Second Reader

Noelle Wiedemer


The study of tourism shows a trend in the growing popularity of visiting sites associated with death, called Dark Tourism. While the term Dark Tourism is a modern construct, the practice of visiting sites associated with death is not. At the same time these sites of Dark Tourism (like Auschwitz) hold a place of importance in modern culture to multiple groups, placing them on a level of sacredness. Dark Tourism comes from the practice of Thanatourim (Death Tourism) and transitioned over time to follow the guideline of Dark Tourism. The connection to the aspect of the sacred can also be seen in Thanatourism where the sacred was a religious sacred, connected to the pilgrimage locations throughout Europe. As cultures progressed the sacred shifted from a religious to secular as the practice of death tourism shifted from Thanatourism to Dark Tourism.