Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Music and Dramatic Arts

Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

The Cryptid Tourist Gaze: Cryptid Tourism and the Performance of Monster-Hunting examines different modes of monster-hunting and argues that the ways of hunting for monsters has evolved from major expeditions to cryptid tourism. I devised an original term called the Cryptid Tourist Gaze in order to analyze these different monster-hunting modes. The Cryptid Tourist Gaze is an individual's perspective of and experience with a cryptid monster and reflects how an individual perceives and presents cryptid monsters and cryptid monster experiences.

I suggest that individuals now perform monster-hunting through documentary media consumption, festival attendance, and museum curation and visitation, which are all forms of cryptid tourism. I refer to monster-hunting as the act of how an individual or community looks at, lives with, and searches for unexplained, unknown, or unnatural creatures, beasts, and animals and the Cryptid Tourist Gaze is a means by which those acts are performed. This Gaze informs their constructed consciousness of the phenomena of monster sightings and determines the structured reality of their experience of cryptid tourism. Thinking about how these cryptid monsters are presented and represented can lead us to a conversation about why people go looking for these cryptid monsters and how the belief in their existence is perpetuated.

The Cryptid Tourist Gaze is a multifaceted concept that I believe sheds new light on monster-hunting and cryptid tourism. Cryptozoological research could lead to one of the most exciting discoveries in history. One of the ways we get closer to that discovery is through cryptid tourism and the performance of cryptid monster-hunting.

Date

6-18-2021

Committee Chair

Sikes, Alan

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