ENGL478T - Selected Topics in English and American Literature before 1800: Travel Writing and Cultural Otherness in the Renaissance

This rigorous, upper-level course will investigate a selection of travel writing from Antiquity through the eighteenth century with an emphasis on the period between 1500 and 1750 C.E. The course will take a comparative approach, treating travel texts from a variety of national traditions, while focusing on the literary and social repercussions of these texts in early modern England. We will also read theoretical works that will enrich and expand our understanding of the travel genre. Lively class discussions and oral reports will encourage critical thinking and debate. Students will hone their analytical and writing skills through three essay assignments. Creative writing assignments will stimulate the studentsā€˜ ability to relate these texts to their own ways of imagining the world. The course has four thematic areas of focus: 1. The figure of the traveler, 2. Reasons for and forms of travel, 3. What travel does to European concepts of identity in the early modern period, and 4. How travel affects European literature.


Two English courses in literature or permission of department.