Travel Writing (Section 3)

1559-503:
Discipline: English Writing
Instructor: Dornan
Credits: 3
Day: B
Start: 14:25
End: 15:40
Field Work: Day 1 - Bridgetown - Saturday, 22 November | Barbados Download Syllabus

This course provides an introduction to the craft and art of travel writing. Travel shapes one’s personal and cultural transformation.  Writing about it calls on powers of observation that sharpen the experience and fixes the memories.  Students will consider the skills required to write compelling, engaging creative nonfiction about the people and places they have encountered: character sketches, concrete and vivid detail, point of view, narrative drama, and scene construction. We will read and discuss essays about countries on our voyage written by some of the world’s greatest travel writers.  Writing assignments will include short essays about our ports of call, which will be read and discussed in a collaborative, respectful, yet challenging workshop.   Students will keep a weekly journal, write short experimental pieces, and polish writing for publication.

Field Work

Country: Barbados
Day: 1 - Bridgetown - Saturday, 22 November

After four months of SAS, we will have become expert at getting around strange cities and adapting to new environs.  Equipped to evaluate which cities are best designed for health, safety, sustainability, and lively human interaction, we will rank Bridgetown among cities around the Atlantic.  Students will tour the downtown areas and gather information about the city's history, demographics, economic standing, transportation patterns, and systems for bringing communities together.  We will also meet with a university class in sociology, where we can discuss our findings and raise questions about the quality of life in the Barbados. Academic Objectives:

  1. Develop analytical skills for higher order evaluation.  Students will compose their own Likert Scale based on values they set for themselves and apply it to city design;
  2. Consider city design and the factors that affect it;
  3.   Write a descriptive paper that combines creativity, sound compositional elements, illuminating detail, and anecdotes.