Travel Writing Workshop

Discipline: English Writing
Instructor: Silva
Credits: 3
Day: B
Start: 1050
End: 1205
Field Class: Day 6 - Monday, 30 March | South Africa Download Syllabus

In this course, we’ll approach travel writing in a number of different ways. We’ll start by looking at the history of travel literature from Ancient Greece through the Grand Tour and beyond. We’ll read travel pieces by Petrarch, Paul Bowles, Richard Wright, Paul Theroux, Ann Beattie, and many others. Before we arrive at each port, we’ll read travel essays about our location to prepare us for our trip and to provide topics for classroom discussion. Gathered in-port experiences will form the basis of several different types of travel writing, including personal essay, journalism, creative non-fiction, and more. Students will write two long essays during the term, as well as shorter assignments for each port and our time at sea. Each student will keep a travel journal, as observation and written reflection are key to turning experience in the world into experience on the page. Students will submit their two longer pieces to workshop. These sessions will provide feedback and fresh ideas for revision. The final project will consist of a portfolio of your work throughout the term. The portfolio will also contain a revision of one piece from workshop and a reflection-based essay on your experiences throughout our voyage.

Field Class

Country: South Africa
Day: 6 - Monday, 30 March

For our Field Lab, we will spend the day exploring two of South Africa’s famous natural sites. We will begin the day by driving from Cape Town down to Cape Point, one of the southernmost points in Africa. During our drive down, our guide will provide important history and background information on South Africa. Our drive will also give us an extended view of the natural setting of South Africa. I will also have discussion questions and keys to consider during our drive down. Once we arrive at Cape Point, we will tour the area and also take time to write. I want you to both take notes on your surroundings and also look back on your time in Asia. On our way back to Cape Town, we will stop for lunch. As we return to Cape Town, we will visit Table Mountain. Weather permitting, we will take a hike either up or down Table Mountain. At the top we will again have time to write. I want you to again record details of your surroundings and also write about our upcoming journey through Africa. Academic Objectives

  1. To practice and refine note taking while in the field
  2. To gather detail regarding setting and place
  3. To use these notes to form the basis for a personal travel essay
  4. To reflect on the our voyage to date
  5. To consider your personal state of mind as we continue to Africa