Travel Writing

Discipline: English Writing
Instructor: Holsinger
Credits: 3
Day: null
Start: 12:30
End: 13:45
Field Work: Day 1 | Portugal Download Syllabus

Concentrating in particular on writing by travelers around the Mediterranean basin (past and present), this course will take as its subject the literature of travel. Whether journals or letters, poems or memoirs, novels or blogs, travel writing has helped shape our understanding of human history and culture from the ancient world to the present. We’ll read a wide variety of work, from the Roman poet Ovid’s exile letters to Mark Twain’s Innocents Abroad. A key part of the course will be participants’ own travel writing: the journals, blog entries, and other fragments that constitute the written record of the Semester at Sea voyage in which we are all participating. Field programs will allow participants to make our port stops an integral part of the course experience, and we will design itineraries for selected ports out of the readings we do together for the course.

Field Work

Country: Portugal
Day: 1

Following the itinerary laid out in Philip Graham’s travel memoir of Lisbon, The Moon, come to Earth (the "Three Churches" chapter), this trip will take us to several significant sites in the religious history of Portugal.  The day will begin with a one-hour bus ride to the charming town of Santarem, site of the Church of St. Stephen or Church of the Holy Miracle (Igreja do Santissimo Milagre). We will visit the church and several other sites before lunch in the old city center, which features Portugal’s densest and most varied ensemble of Gothic churches.  Upon returning to Lisbon we will visit the Church of Sao Domingos and catch a glimpse of the Mosteiro dos Jeronimos (closed on Mondays) before returning to the ship.