English R1B

Reading and Composition: Mobile Americans: Travel, Literature, Belonging

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
9 Fall 2005 Carlo Arreglo
TTh 2-3:30 78 Barrows

Other Readings and Media

"Stein, G.: Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas

James, H.: Daisy Miller

Melville, H.: Benito Cereno

Mura, D.: Turning Japanese

Pham, A.: Catfish and Mandala

Trask, H.: Light in the Crevice Never Seen

Hemingway, E.: The Sun Also Rises

Hacker, D.: Rules for Writers

Course Reader

Required Film:

Lost in Translation "


"Ralph Waldo Emerson described traveling as ?a fool?s paradise.? In this course, we will work on refining critical reading and writing skills by examining and discussing the role of travel in literature, particularly in what Gertrude Stein called ?the making of Americans.? How does travel challenge or heighten American identity? What is the impact of travel and mobility on the social and psychic construction of American belonging and citizenship? Why would Emerson characterize travel in this way? Who gets to travel and then write about it? What, for example, happens to literary form and content when the American abroad shifts from Henry James to W.E.B. DuBois, Herman Melville to David Mura? These questions constitute starting points; your expected participation in discussion will raise new or overlapping concerns. Since travel does not happen in a vacuum, we will also examine the encounters among Americans, settlers, locals, and the indigenous in a framework that considers the relationships between historical events and the routes of travel, allowing us to interrogate the nature and condition of travel with and against such terms as the global and the local, the rural and the urban.

The course will build upon your current writing and research skills through frequent revisions and stage-based writing exercises to fulfill the course requirements of producing at least 32 pages (one short essay early in the semester and at least two longer essays) and to provide methodological and evaluative tools for using research results here and elsewhere. Through our object of inquiry, travel, we will, in a sense, take on the role of the traveler and become familiar with what may be unfamiliar, the academic library, in order to absorb and appraise the numerous sources that will inform and supplement the writings that you will be exploring and producing this semester and beyond. "

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