We will read short fiction from each port of call as we voyage to nearly a dozen countries. The indigenous literature will provide us with an excellent portal into the lives, social relationships, history, and cultural aspects of each society. As we gain an understanding of the various forces at work—from customs and beliefs to gender roles and religion to economic and political systems—we will expand our appreciation of diversity and global awareness. Traveling from highly developed countries in Europe to lesser developed ones in Africa and Latin America, we will assess the impact of cross-cultural influences, including the slave trade and colonialism. We will approach the short story as a distinct art form, one that gives shape both to the inner life and outer reality. Students will sharpen their critical thinking and writing skills through class discussion and expository essays.
Field WorkCountry: Trinidad and Tobago
Day: 1 - Sunday, 13 November
In the morning, we will visit the University of Trinidad and Tobago and attend a lecture on V. S. Naipaul and other accomplished writers from Trinidad and Tobago. After lunch, we will have a city tour that will introduce us to the multicultural and multiethnic make-up of Trinidad, which is a prominent theme in Naipaul’s fiction. We will visit the Indian Caribbean Museum as well as numerous sites such as Fort King George, Queen’s Park Savannah, and the Dattatreya Temple and Hanuman Statue as well as historically important neighborhoods such as Belmont and St. James to gain a deeper understanding of the history, geography, and mixture of diverse peoples that have shaped this island nation. After returning to the ship, we will discuss the personal impact of this experience, especially as it illuminates Naipaul’s fiction that we have read for the occasion. Learning objectives:
- To gain a deeper appreciation of Nobel–prize-winning author V. S. Naipaul and other accomplished writers from Trinidad and Tobago
- To experience the multicultural and multiethnic history and composition of this island nation
- To learn about the important historical, geographical, religious, and cultural factors that have contributed to forming this island nation