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American Travelers

ENGL 286.301
instructor(s):
TR 1:30-3

This course will examine three archetypal journeys in American literature and culture: going into the wilderness, going abroad, and going home. We'll focus on such motives for travel as quest for identity, a search for adventure and opportunity, escapism, erotic desire, and nostalgia. Readings will include works by Mark Twain, Edith Wharton, Stephen Crane, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, James Baldwin, Jack Kerouac, Paul Bowles, Philip Roth, Paul Theroux, and Mary Morris, as well as theory and criticism. We'll consider the influence of gender, race, age, and ethnic origin on one's travel motives and perceptions, as well as the differences between fiction and non-fiction. Course work will include frequent brief reading responses, a mid-term essay, an autobiographical essay on travel, and a final paper combining course readings with independent research.