Ghosts of Sorrow, Sin and Crime: Dark Tourism and Convict Heritage in Van Diemen’s Land, Australia

Eleanor Conlin Casella, Katherine Fennelly

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Abstract

Established as a British imperial penal colony, Van Diemen’s Land received approximately 75,000 convicts before cessation of convict transportation in 1853. A vast network of penal stations and institutions were created to accommodate, employ, administer, and discipline these exiled felons. Popular interpretations of Australia’s convict past highlight dynamics of shame, avoidance and active obliteration that characterized Australia’s relationship to its recent convict past. Yet, closer examination of these colonial institutions suggests a far more ambivalent relationship with this “dark heritage,” evidenced by continuous tourism and visitation to these places of pain and shame from the mid-nineteenth century to the present.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)506-520
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Historical Archaeology
Volume20
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016

Keywords

  • Australia
  • Colonial archaeology
  • Dark tourism
  • Institutions
  • Penal

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