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Centralia as Tourist Site is Topic at Susquehanna University

March 5, 2009

SELINSGROVE, Pa. - The growing popularity of Centralia, Pa., as a tourist attraction is the subject of a March 18 lecture by Edward Slavishak, assistant professor of history at Susquehanna University. Sponsored by the university’s Institute for Lifelong Learning, Slavishak’s talk is scheduled for 11 a.m. at the Degenstein Center Theater.
Site of a highly publicized mine fire that started in 1962 and burned for years, Centralia now draws visitors as a result of media accounts, film and video game references, and online discussions and photos. Slavishak will discuss the locale in the historical context of “disaster tourism,” a phenomenon that lures curious travelers to places such as hurricane-ravaged New Orleans or the former site of the World Trade Center towers.

“I’m interested in ‘fringe tourism,’ and I think Centralia is a great example,” Slavishak said. “I want to consider what people get out of driving to the middle of nowhere to look at a landscape of weed-choked lots and rubble.”

The talk, free and open to the public, will be followed by an optional lunch at noon. For lunch reservations or questions, call the Office of Conference and Event Management at 570-372-4354.

The Institute for Lifelong Learning hosts an annual series of lectures and luncheons that seek to promote fellowship and continued learning among seniors and others in the community and surrounding area.

Founded in 1858, Susquehanna University is a private liberal arts college that prepares students for achievement, leadership and service in a diverse, interconnected world. Academic excellence, study and service learning abroad, student-faculty collaboration, and rich opportunities for creative and personal growth are hallmarks of a Susquehanna University education. Susquehanna students come from 30 states and 12 countries, and more than 90 percent of them find jobs or pursue graduate study within six months of graduation. The university is located in central Pennsylvania, in the town of Selinsgrove, along the banks of the scenic Susquehanna River and about three hours from major East Coast cultural, financial and recreational centers.

Contact: Karen Jones

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