SLAVIC 290 - Studies in Eastern European Cultures
Section: 001 Literary Tourism and Literary "Branding" in Britain, Russia, and America
Term: WN 2010
Subject: Slavic Languages and Literatures (SLAVIC)
Department: LSA Slavic Languages & Literatures
Credits:
1
Requirements & Distribution:
HU
Other:
Minicourse
Class Misc Info:
D/A deadline: 01/26/10.
Repeatability:
May be repeated for a maximum of 3 credit(s). May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:

In Britain, literature is big in the tourist business – hundreds of thousands of people, many foreign, travel every year to Stratford-upon-Avon to pay their respects to Shakespeare’s birth place; the home of the Brontë sisters in Haworth is enormously popular, Jane Austen pilgrimages are undertaken by many, and hundreds of other literature-oriented trips to literary museums and to sites associated with authors and books are described in travel guides and other travel materials. Beyond that, huge marketing enterprises surround these sites, branding towns, landscapes, and whole areas as, for example, “Brontë country”, and selling experiences often only vaguely related to the writers in question. And today’s tourist can even visit what might be termed literary “theme parks” associated with certain writers and their works. Yet other prominent authors seem largely absent from the tourist trail, and have no brand at all.

Russia has many hundreds of literary museums, some the object of multi-day trips for tourists from the urban centers (the classic example is Tolstoi’s country estate, visited by hundreds of thousands of Russians every year), while many others are tiny, modest, and remote, with just a few thousand visitors annually. Many of Russia’s most famous writers have multiple museums across the country (Pushkin has over a dozen officially recognized museums), although other prominent writers have none. Multi-day vacations in Moscow and St Petersburg are offered around literary themes, with visits to museums and other sites associated with writers and their works. And in today’s Russia, literary branding is very prominent in the capital cities, where hosts of restaurants are built around literary themes and ideas (from Moscow’s famous Café Pushkin to St Petersburg’s Nest of Gentlefolk).

In the United States, literary tourism and literary branding is more modest, but pilgrimages to New England’s literary sites, to Faulkner’s home region, and to other literary locations are certainly part of the tourist business, while prosperous American travelers can buy foreign vacations with literary themes.

What is the history of literary tourism and literary branding in these three, very different countries; how does it work today; what determines the prominence or exclusion of authors from the tourist agenda; what does the literary tourist look for and what does s/he find on a literary pilgrimage; how does the business work, what does it say about relations to text and time in today’s Britain, Russia, and America?

This course will try to answer those questions by looking at diverse tourist materials, travel narratives, and some scholarship on the subject. Requirements: attendance at lectures; weekly one-page responses; short final paper.

SLAVIC 290 - Studies in Eastern European Cultures
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
P
50443
Open
26
 
-
W 4:00PM - 6:00PM
Note: This Mini-Course meets every Wednesday, starting January 20 through March 10.
002 (LEC)
P
50459
Closed
0
 
1
Tu 4:00PM - 6:00PM
Note: This Mini-Course takes place every Tuesday, March 9 through April 20.
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