Beach reading is usually considered “fluff”—it consists of insignificant works that idly entertain us as we sit in the sun. This class reimagines the genre by tracking the allure the beach has held for many generations of writers. We will explore the meaning of travel, particularly travel to the Caribbean and South Pacific, and the ways in which the beach might function in different works, or at different times as a vacation destination, a site of exploration and discovery, or a place of confrontation or violence. Readings may include works by Herman Melville, Derek Walcott, Jamaica Kincaid, Robert Louis Stevenson, Mark Twain, Katherine Mansfield, and Albert Wendt. Class requirements are weekly blog posts, several short papers, and a final long paper.