English 166

Special Topics: Where the Wild Things Are: Empire and Travel Writing

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
2 Fall 2015 Saha, Poulomi
MWF 11-12 note new location: 219 Dwinelle Special Topics

Other Readings and Media

Texts may include The Heart of Darkness, Around the World in 80 Days, Gulliver’s Travels, and A Small Place


This course journeys to the far-flung places where wild things roam. Our itinerary takes us through novels, travel narratives, journalism, and online sources that depict fantastical lands populated by wild beasts, "savage" peoples, and strange (or not so strange) customs. Beginning with early exploration narratives, the course considers how the genre of travel writing, in making distant sites and subjugated peoples at once alluringly dangerous and intimately familiar, has played a crucial role in the consolidation of imperial power. We then travel to the postcolonial era where once exotic colonies have become familiar sites of tourism and trade. The course will consider contemporary accounts of tourism and travel to ask how globalization has changed the contexts, styles, and forms of travel and its description. 

Other Recent Sections of This Course

Spring, 2018
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
166/1 Special Topics: Comedy & Violence Flynn, Catherine
166/2 Special Topics: Romantic Science Goldstein, Amanda Jo
166/3 Special Topics: Classical & Renaissance Drama Knapp, Jeffrey
166/4 Special Topics: Marxism & Literature Lye, Colleen
166/5 Special Topics: Emily Dickinson Shoptaw, John
166/6 Special Topics: Speculative Fiction Jones, Donna V.
Summer, 2018
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
166/1 Special Topics: Speculative Fictions, Possible Futures O'Brien, Geoffrey G.
166/2 Special Topics: Games of Thrones, Medieval to Modern Arnold, Oliver
Strub, Spencer
Liu, Aileen
Fall, 2017
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
166/3 Special Topics: Black Science Fiction Serpell, C. Namwali
166/4 Special Topics: Writing Poetry and Nonfiction, Writing as Social Practice Giscombe, Cecil S.
Spring, 2017
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
166/1 Special Topics: Marxism and Literature Lye, Colleen
166/2 Special Topics: Studies in Literature and Environment (Shelter and Weather) Francois, Anne-Lise
166/3 Special Topics: Slavery and Conspiracy Wagner, Bryan
166/4 Special Topics: Literature in the Century of Film Goble, Mark
166/5 Special Topics: Modern Irish Literature Falci, Eric
Fall, 2016
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
166/1 Special Topics: Aesthetics and the Environment in the Eighteenth Century Picciotto, Joanna M
166/2 Special Topics: Vladimir Nabokov Naiman, Eric
Spring, 2016
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
166/2 Special Topics: Elizabethan Renaissance: Art, Culture, and Visuality Honig, Elizabeth

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