This course aims to introduce students to the social functions and ideological meanings of leisure institutions, from museums, fairs, gardens to amusement parks, movie theaters, world expo and other themed spaces. We focus on the notion of leisure and play, and investigate the wide world of themed entertainment. While looking at particular case studies and particular leisure spaces, ranging from Disneyland to ethnic villages and Imax theaters, we look into the connection between play and modern life, the utopian elements of leisure spaces, the impacts of the increasingly global and lucrative contemporary tourist industry on the production of historical knowledge and the invention of traditions, and other issues related to cultural politics and management.

Theme Park and Other Themed Spaces