Since remote antiquity, for all sorts of reasons, people of many kinds have left home and hit the road. Journeys have always been a part of life, and travel writing has a long and varied history. We will read a wide range of travel accounts while asking what shared features define travel writing as a literary genre and how it intersects with other genres. Readings range from medieval pilgrimages and crusades through early modern exploration and colonization, to modern tourism and journeys of self-discovery or self-actualization. We will also study involuntary travelers, such as enslaved people and migrants or refugees.
Lower-division Elective courses allow students to choose (or “elect”) courses or faculty specific to their own developing interests, enabling them thereby to shape their own educational experience.
Genre courses address a single literary/cinematic genre or “kind.”-- such as tragedy, autobiography, lyric, romance, etc.-- with the purpose of teaching students to read and perform critical, formal analyses of literary, cinematic, and cultural texts. These courses help prepare students for the backbone of our curriculum: the Foundations of the English Major sequence (ENG 301-2-3).
English Minor courses offer students centuries of cultural experience and representation in poetry, prose, drama, film, TV, new media, and folk artifacts. The English minor can focus and extend the values of a liberal arts education, while also providing extensive training in writing, speaking, and critical thinking.