Presentation Title

Searching for Slavery Amongst the Plantation Edutainment Complex

Document Type


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Abstract or Description

Cultural research on plantations has largely focused on the house tour and its representations of slavery ignoring the variety of other ways owners and operates commodify the site. This paper, based on research in South Carolina and Louisiana, explores the growing plantation edutainment complex. This developing plantation edutainment complex seeks to diversify methods to earn revenue in an increasingly competitive heritage tourism market. Utilizing interviews, analysis of plantation websites and promotional materials, as well as survey data this presentation will explore three ways that the plantation is commodified beyond the house tour: the ephemeral event (i.e. festival, wedding), the site itself with a variety of land uses (i.e. slave cemetery, petting zoo, campsite), and the creation of plantation brand. The authors will conclude by considering the ramifications to responsibly remembering slavery when it is but one component of a multi-faceted plantation business.


American Association of Geographers Annual Conference (AAG)


Boston, MA