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date: 23 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Based on case studies of tourism in the Galapagos Islands and Antarctica, this chapter articulates a concept of “extreme animal tourism” as a category of analysis. Suggesting that tourism deserves increased attention in animal studies, the chapter tracks the conditions of possibility for this growing sector of hyperprivileged tourism, as opposed to mass tourism. It is a form of tourism that promises those who can afford to pay for it exceptional proximity and the “glorious indifference” of the animals to human presence. The chapter argues that these animal encounters promote the idea of an “Edenic encounter” of mutual regard between humans and charismatic nonhuman animals. Animals, as avatars of the “wild,” are still largely seen as outside history, and as such are available to the tourist industry to do the continuing work of representing premodernity when encountered in remote locations. Analyzing this ideological work is an essential part of deepening our understanding of human relations with non-human animals

Keywords: tourism, Galapagos Islands, Antarctica, wild animals, animal studies, animal encounters

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