Submarine Geographies: the body, the senses and the mediation of tourist experience
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
Reason for embargo
2 chapters are currently under review to be published in journals
The thesis is concerned with ways in which tourists’ experiences of learning to dive are mediated by technology, equipment and cultural constructions that are projected through visual media. The empirical chapters take a different theoretical body of literature to demonstrate the extent to which mediation alters human perception. The thesis is informed by research participants who took part in an experimental visual methodology that sought to open up new ways of studying the senses. The empirical chapters cover a consideration of the phasing in and out of attention of equipmental prosthetics for learner divers, a phenomenological study of the reorganisation of the senses underwater, a Bergsonian take on the intersubjective nature of recollection upon encountering material relics at a wreck site. The construction of docile diving bodies are considered, in relation to appropriate ways of moving and thinking about the ocean’s inhabitants, before the final empirical chapter outlines the mediative role of videographic souvenirs, as they polish memories of previous experience and alter relations to place. The thesis concludes by drawing attention to the way in which understandings of underwater space are constructed before, during and after real-time perception of the ocean and its various inhabitants. Consequently, it is noted that underwater experience is both highly subjective and intertextual, being furnished by the associations and atmospheres that each learner diver brings to the encounter and being re-presented to others by means of what each diver takes away.
PhD in Geography