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Communication Studies > Study Abroad

Study Abroad

Communication Studies

 



Summer 2012 -- SUN, SAND, AND THE CULT OF DEATH

 

The objective of this trip was to encounter a variety of tourist experiences in the Yucatan. As we engaged in tourist spaces (or general spaces), students were to think about these spaces as carefully crafted for different tourist "gazes" and experiences. Students thought about their own expectations and desires as they encountered spaces as well as the relationship between "hosts" and "guests" and the possibilities and problems that exist through that relationship. Students also considered how media and communication help construct our gazes and the tourist space itself. During the trip, students read material from a variety of academic disciplines that study tourism: media studies, religious studies, history, anthropology and archaeology. Below, you can find some examples of the work done in the class.

 

LINKS TO BLOGS:

Students were required to keep a travel blog while on the trip. There were 13 required blog entries -- 3 pre-trip, 9 during the trip, and 1 post trip. These required blog entries corresponded with a topic given by Dr. Coats. Some of the students also used the travel blogs as a way to share your experiences with family/friends, etc. Below are some of the blogs that were kept by students as they traveled around the Yucatan:

-Kirsten Clark's travel blog 

-Kristen Lucas' travel blog 

-Sara Sacks' travel blog 

 

PHOTO ESSAYS:

Toward the end of the trip, students were asked to present a photo essay. Students were asked to take photographs from the first day onward. When composing the photo essay, students were not simply displaying a bunch of images. Instead, they were required to think about how the photographs they took and chose told a story, and how that story connected to each student's experience in the Yucatan. Students were not allowed to speak during the presentation. Below are some of the photo essays composed and presented during the trip:

-Kirsten Clark's photo essay 

-Allie Jordan's photo essay

-Kristen Lucas' photo essay 

 

FINAL PROJECTS: 

Each student had to complete a final project for the class. The project could take three forms: 1) an ethnographic documentary, 2) an academic essay with a visual component (e.g. an essay that is told through word and image), and 3) the standard academic essay. The topic, in a broad sense, was about tourism in the Yucatan. However, students could specialize the topic in a number of ways, i.e. New Age tourism, the relationship between "hosts" and "guests," religious pilgrimage in the Yucatan, etc. Below are some of the final projects prepared by students who took part in the class:

-Kirsten Clark's final project (standard academic essay)

-Kristen Lucas' final project (ethnographic documentary)