Communities and protected areas worldwide have initiated programs to protect and promote dark night skies. Yet, limited research has explored how and why night skies become of interest or meaningful to people. Because night skies are literally beyond human reach, we focus on how visitors to a U.S. national park imagine night skies and invoke imaginaries that make night skies meaningful. Drawing from interviews, we examine how visitors use symbolic language, narrative, and other discursive practices to develop the social, cultural, and spatial contexts of their night sky experiences. Findings inform our understanding of imagination and imaginaries in tourism and recreation research, while offering new approaches to night skies research.
Derrien, Monika M.; Stokowski, Patricia A. 2020. Discursive constructions of night sky experiences: Imagination and imaginaries in national park visitor narratives. Annals of Tourism Research. 85(1): 103038-. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.annals.2020.103038.