Date of Award

Spring 5-6-2012

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Anthropology

First Advisor

Dr. Emanuela Guano

Second Advisor

Dr. Jennifer Patico

Third Advisor

Dr. Kathryn Kozaitis

Abstract

The combination of poorly managed mass tourism, rapidly increasing international migration, and a declining economy facilitated a permanent exodus of natives out of the Venetian lagoon. This thesis examines how the community activism group and social network Venessia.com attempts to reclaim a place-­based and place-­manifested Venetian identity (venezianità) through theatrical public protests. While members are sensitive to an ethic of intercultural awareness, the discourse accompanying their concerns reveals nostalgia for the power and grandeur of Venice’s past that is threatened by a perceived invasion by suspicious outsiders. The theoretical framework I employ to illuminate Venessia.com's efforts includes the socio-­cultural and economic implications of mass tourism, theory of space and place, and critiques of modernity and postmodernity.

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