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Heritage, Place, and Tourism

Erve Chambers, Principal Investigator

Two long term research projects are designed to explore relationships between heritage resources, tourism, and place-based consciousness in the Chesapeake Bay region.  The first study is focused on the role played by tourism in the conception of the Delmarva peninsula as a distinct place.  A central premise of this research is that tourism development and touristic practices play major roles in how people and places are represented.  In turn, these representations can have important implications in terms of how a region is developed, who has access to its economic, cultural and natural resources, and can result in increased conflict regarding resource uses.  Tourism can lead to change in occupational patterns, in the uses of the natural environment, in local ethnic relations, and in how the heritage of a region is described and ultimately valued.  The second study deals with conceptions of heritage and the role played by heritage resource management practices in shaping the identity of places as well as in determining relationships between “natural” and “cultural” heritage.  The focus is on representations of heritage in the Chesapeake Bay region. 

Funding for the research has been provided by Maryland Sea Grant and the University of Maryland General Research Board.


University of Maryland | Department of Anthropology | 1111 Woods Hall | College Park, MD 20742