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).