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The Invention of the Tourist

Will Mackintosh (University of Mary Washington)

In the early 19th century, Americans began to journey away from home–not for work or migration, but simply for the sake of traveling. It gave rise to a new cultural phenomenon: the tourist. Will Mackintosh is the author of a new book Selling the Sights: The Invention of the Tourist in American Culture.

11 mins

Smog National Park

Chris Zajchowski (Old Dominion University)

City-dwellers escape to national and state parks for the beautiful sights and the fresh air. Chris Zajchowski says that, unfortunately, when those tourists travel for clean air, they bring polluted air with them.

8 mins

Old Town Roads

Nancy McGehee (Virginia Tech)

In the past couple of decades, a lot has changed for rural American tourism. Nancy McGehee says that from public artworks to popular foodie trails, small towns and rural areas are finding ways to enrich their communities through tourism.

9 mins

You Sound Like You’re Not From Around Here

Steven Weinberger (George Mason University)

Within seconds of hearing someone speak, we make judgments about that person and their background, just based on their accent. Linguistics professor Steven Weinberger explains how and when we develop accents and how these accents affect our identity.

11 mins

“Whan that Aprille with his shoures soote…”

Alan Baragona (James Madison University)

Written in early English, Geoffrey Chaucer’s fourteenth century writings may seem impenetrable, with strange pronunciation and incomprehensible phrases. English professor Alan Baragona says the best way to approach Chaucer is to read it out loud and hear the musicality of the words.

13 mins

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