Recent Submissions

  • Regenerative tourism and mental health: The clean wave foundation, Costa Rica

    Thornton, Michele; Bhatia, Marty; Silkaitis, Carin (Springer Nature Switzerland, 2024-06-01)
    Rising mental health needs combined with barriers in access to care has individuals seeking new approaches to accessing care and improving their overall sense of well-being. Intentional forms of tourism, particularly nature-based, and regenerative tourism may have a role to play as an opportunity to address this growing need in a way that traditional efforts to address mental health may be lacking. While studies have begun to document the physical health, mental health and perceptions of well-being impacts of nature-based, sustainable or ecotourism they are just beginning to explore this with regards to regenerative tourism. Regenerative tourism, is slightly more nuanced, and is described as “leaving the place behind better than before.” A hallmark of a sound regenerative tourism model, is that it emerges from within the community, and is often tied to a local community organization doing the ongoing work that spearheads the practice. This paper employs grounded theory to proposes a new model linking regenerative tourism to well-being and documents a qualitative study conducted in the Spring of 2023 with a regenerative based organization (The Clean Wave Foundation)—that connects individuals with beach and underwater clean-up events across Costa Rica. Key participants (n = 12) discuss their experiences, personal well-being and community impacts in a semi-structured interview format. Community organizations, economic development agencies, the tourism industry and scholars in marketing and public health will all find benefit in this work.
  • The need for embodied dramaturgy: The Laramie Project and Generation Z

    Silkaitis, Carin; Kriegler-Wenk, Zoe Rose (Athens Institute for Education and Research, 2023-07)
    20 years after the murder of Matthew Shepard, I introduced The Laramie Project to a group of undergraduate students. Observing cast members' first experience of the characters, a troubling lack of empathy to the complexity of this tragic story became apparent. Of primary concern was that decades of progress made towards LGBTQIA equality stripped this story of its relevance. Geographic and generational bias is natural and expected but ultimately requires a new dramaturgical approach. We offer reflections on the methodology developed to address this gap: an embodied dramaturgical approach to our pre-production work culminating in a full cast and crew research trip to Laramie, Wyoming. Through photos, video, soundscapes and observations, we illuminate the impacts of using a place-based, psycho-somatic sensory approach to dramaturgical research. This experience created physical and emotional transformation in the participants that can inform future dramaturgical work particularly for stories that are deeply unknown and unfamiliar to the cast and crew. Together, we found that stories like “The Laramie Project” continue to be relevant. Although progress has been great, the threat of anti-LGBTQIA violence is still very real for many people. Employing an embodied approach can enhance storytelling and empower further progress with the benefit of today’s experience.