In this course students will discuss what traveling means in an age when many people can get on a plane or drive on a whim to a place of their choice. Students will be asked to think about travel as a deliberate act or an act of improvisation, as never-ending process or a fixed journey. Students will observe themselves as travellers and record what they see and what happens around them when they travel. They will explore a popular form of writing and draw on their experiences and practice of both—traveling and writing. The familiar will become strange and new as they move through places and locations they think they know, return home, walk through their memories and explore places of the past. The course will explore famous works by travellers who visited the USA, for instance Charles Dickens’s “On America and the Americans,” and consider recent works such as Robert MacFarlane’s The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot (2012).
This course is going to be taught online, both in synchronous and asynchronous sessions that take the form of workshops and interactive discussions. There will also be independent discussions between student and instructor. The seminar is scheduled for three hours on Thursday between 1:30 and 4:30pm with reading, writing and talking sections.