Sunday, January 31, 2010

Course Description

In Travel Narratives: Away From Home we will explore the key features, themes, motifs, literary devices, and style techniques of quality travel literature, both nonfiction and fiction. Because travel is so often about exploration, adventure, and chance encounters, some of the reading of this course will be student choice. You will be free to select and read travel literature that appeals to your own experiences, interests, desires, and goals, and you will have opportunities to respond to, reflect upon, and share with the class the literature you have chosen.* Through the process of reading and discussing travel literature, you will also explore and present your own unique experiences, ideas, and creativity through two drafted and polished travel narratives and one interpretive essay in which you analyze some aspect(s) of the travel literature you read during the semester.

For the three major assignments, we will follow the steps of the writing process—prewriting, drafting, revision, and editing—culminating in a final portfolio and presentation at the end of the semester. In addition to the major assignments, there will be frequent writing activities, designed to build your writing skills leading up to the drafting of the larger pieces, and frequent reading responses in which you will reflect upon the travel literature you will be reading. Throughout the semester, we will also sharpen your command of grammar, usage, and mechanics and expand your literary and everyday vocabulary.

* To establish some continuity between the work you did last semester and what we have planned for this semester, I will look for ways, as often as possible, to foster connections to the texts, concepts, and themes you have already studied. Please do not hesitate to call attention to those connections yourselves during our classes or in your work for this semester.