English R1B

Reading & Composition: Travels with America

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
10 Spring 2008 Aaron Bady
MWF 2-3 225 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

Travels with Charlie ; Colonial American Travel Narratives; Mandatory course reader


"Is globalism really a new thing for America? The colonization and settlement of the Americas was the first time that people from four continents were all part of the same ""global"" economic system, a system defined by immigration and put into place by the first transnational corporations in history. Maybe it shouldn't surprise us that the idea of "" America"" always seems to have something to do with travel and that the freedom of the open road and seas has an almost mythic importance in imagining what it means to be �American.� After all, what better symbol of a ""nation of immigrants"" than a transcontinental highway? Go west, young man!

With the question of America�s place in the world in mind, we will focus on a particular genre of American writing, the travel narrative. We will seek to understand how different writers have imagined �America� by taking a journey themselves, from early explorers like Christopher Columbus and Alexander Von Humboldt to colonists like Mary Rowlandson and J. Hector St. John de Crevecoeur, from citizens of the United States like Walt Whitman and John Steinbeck to international sojourners like Jos� Mart�, Domingo Sarmiento, and Alexis de Tocqueville. � America� has meant many things to many people, and this course will seek to explore some of the variety of what different writers have thought it means for a place to be defined in terms of mobility, immigration, and freedom of movement.

Coursework will consist of three medium length papers as well as a series of brief response essays to be delivered to the instructor via email. Your final paper will include a significant component of outside research. "

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