EL7016 - Dark Tourism: Urban Underworlds and Modern City Spaces

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What will I learn on this module?

‘Dark Tourism’ is defined as tourism involving travel to sites historically associated with death, tragedy and, in an off-shoot version identified as slum tourism, poverty. On this module you will consider the debates that consider the ethics and motivation of such a form of tourism, and the role that literature plays in both promoting dark tourism by pushing the reader towards such sites and also in creating a distinct form of dark tourism by taking the reader into the dark places of the psyche.
What lies at the heart of this module is relationship between the changed urban spaces of modernity and the perception of the individuals who inhabited them. You will address development of commodity cultures, the impact of industrialisation in the Victorian city, as well as the ways in which contemporary culture has co-opted various geographical sites and the narratives associated with them. You will pay particular attention to the alienating effects that modern urban living had on individuals and to the question of how the experience of social and personal estrangement affected formal and thematic innovations in both film and literary texts.

How will I learn on this module?

If you choose to study on campus delivery will be primarily via student-led seminar discussion, facilitated by a tutor. If you choose to study by distance learning you can complete the module via a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), populated with on-line learning materials. Whether you are on-site or distance learning you will study the same texts and have access to the same materials. On-site students are encouraged to take part in the discussion boards by way of building a cohort with the distance learning students. The assessment for both on-site and distance learning students is the same combination of non-assessed and assessed e-tivities (on-line tasks). You will be expected to undertake both directed and independent learning. Directed learning generally will take the form of preparation for seminars for on-site students and weekly reading guidance for the distance learning students, where you will be expected to contribute to discussion whether this is in the seminar or through the VLE. Independent learning generally will take the form of further reading and investigation, and revision/preparation for the assessment of the module. Assessments for all students taking this module will include a portfolio of e-tivities that have two roles. First, e-tivities will include non-assessed assessments that ensure the student has the technological capacity in terms of hardware and digital literacy to complete the module. Second, the e-tivities will include the assessed assessments that test the student’s aptitude in relation to the learning outcomes.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Seminars and on-line material will enable you to interrogate the overarching themes of the module will develop your academic skills as you engage with primary, secondary, theoretical and contextual materials to allow you to attain the module learning outcomes. The module handbook provides details of weekly reading and focus, reading lists and assessment criteria and all material are made available on the VLE. The module tutor is available in the seminars for on-site students and by appointment for on-site students, as well as accessible to all via email to discuss any queries or concerns you have about how to excel academically on the module. Moreover, feedback on non-assessed work and the first assessed piece of work will also serve as ‘feed forward’, giving guidance on how to improve during the module. In addition, you have a designated Guidance Tutor throughout the entire duration of your programme. The academic side of the Guidance Tutor’s role includes:
• monitoring your ongoing academic progress
• helping you to develop self-reflection skills necessary for continuous academic development
• directing you to further available services which can help them with their academic skills (e.g. Library’s Skills Plus)

You are advised to see or contact your Guidance Tutor at least twice each semester to review your academic progress. Distance learning students will also be supported by the on-site cohort, who will engage with the discussion forums and etivities, and an Associate Tutor, who will moderate (rather than facilitate) the online discussions, thereby fulfilling the same role as the seminar tutor.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1 an enhanced understanding of issues raised by dark tourism in relation to the study of literature.


Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
2. augmented intellectual skills in employing theoretical and critical material in relation to literature;
3. developed abilities in close and interdisciplinary textual analysis
4. enhanced skills conforming to relevant standards of good academic conduct in the expression of an informed argument in written forms through completing the various activities prescribed.



Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
5. an improved awareness of and curiosity about debates around the ethical issues raised by the practice of dark tourism and literature’s intervention in those debates, and have a heightened curiosity as to the motivations of those that undertake the practice of dark tourism.

How will I be assessed?

Formative (practice) assessment
1. annotated bibliography
This exercise will enable you to begin thinking about what the current ethical debates are relating to the practice of dark tourism.

2. 500 word essay proposal (outline and bibliography)
This formative assessment will aim to ensure you organise your ideas and material for the second assessed piece of work. The rationale for this is to enable you to road-test ideas before committing yourself to an argument or position.


Summative (graded) Assessments
1. 2000-word article review (40%)
A critical review evaluates the clarity, quality and originality of research, as well as its relevance and presentation. A good review carefully analyzes an article's strengths and weaknesses before assessing its overall value. Writing a critical review is a useful academic exercise that helps to improve basic research skills. By assessing the work of others, students become familiar with specific evaluation criteria for social science research and develop critical thinking skills of more general application. Feedback will be provided using the Departmental template and comments on the script, and before the submission date for the second summative piece, allowing ‘feed forward’.
This assessment addresses MLOs 1,2,4


2. 4000-word Essay (60%)
For this task you will have to write an essay in response to a set of questions. The aim here is to ensure you get to grips with the range of texts examined on the module in relation to the concept if dark tourism, while expressing you arguments in a format with which you should now be familiar. This assessment tests your skills in written expression, research, close textual analysis, and contextualisation.
This assessment addresses all five of the module’s learning outcomes. Feedback will be provided using the Departmental template and comments on the script that is handed back to on-site students. For distnac eleanring students the same temple will be used and sent via emails.. With regards to the formative e-tivities feedback will be provided to all students via the VLE.
This assessment addresses MLOs 1-5

Pre-requisite(s)

none

Co-requisite(s)

none

Module abstract

Please find details of this module in the other sections provided.

What will I learn on this module?

‘Dark Tourism’ is defined as tourism involving travel to sites historically associated with death, tragedy and, in an off-shoot version identified as slum tourism, poverty. On this module you will consider the debates that consider the ethics and motivation of such a form of tourism, and the role that literature plays in both promoting dark tourism by pushing the reader towards such sites and also in creating a distinct form of dark tourism by taking the reader into the dark places of the psyche.
What lies at the heart of this module is relationship between the changed urban spaces of modernity and the perception of the individuals who inhabited them. You will address development of commodity cultures, the impact of industrialisation in the Victorian city, as well as the ways in which contemporary culture has co-opted various geographical sites and the narratives associated with them. You will pay particular attention to the alienating effects that modern urban living had on individuals and to the question of how the experience of social and personal estrangement affected formal and thematic innovations in both film and literary texts.

Course info

Credits 30

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 2 years part-time by distance learning
3 other options available

Department Humanities

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2019

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