Writers Along the Way

Discipline: Comparative Literature
Instructor: Stewart
Credits: 3
Day: A
Start: 13:05
End: 14:20
Field Work: Day 1 | Morocco Download Syllabus

This course continues a precedent from the summer, 2010, voyage to the Mediterranean. With Mark Twain’s The Innocents Abroad, a record of his voyage to the Mediterranean in 1867, students discovered (or revisited) authors in the sequence of ports and countries to be visited. While we don’t have the benefit of someone as illustrious as Mark Twain to have preceded us the entire way in our fall 2012 voyage tracing the rim of the Atlantic, north and south, we will nonetheless recreate that same successful pattern of reading and discussing poems, short stories, essays, and excerpts from novels by well known indigenous writers, taken in the order of our ports of call. “Writers Along The Way” is intended for students who like to read, who want to gain some insights into the countries we will visit by way of discussion, prior to arrival,of well known writer; students who like to read and write about literature will feel very comfortable in this course. No knowledge of foreign languages is necessary and there are no pre-requisites, other the readiness to prepare and to participate actively in class. The grade will be determined by class participation (20%), short writing assignments (20%), two announced quizzes (20%), a final examination (20%), and (20%) a diary-writing component that ties together our assigned readings and activities ashore. All of the readings for the course will be available by download from the on-board intranet. Students will thus find it very helpful to have a laptop with them.

Special Requirements: No prior course work nor knowledge of a foreign language, but the desire and readiness to read, discuss, and write about literature are expected.

Field Work

Country: Morocco
Day: 1

Students will prepare for our visit to Morocco by reading The Caliph's House by Tahir Shah. In this account of moving his family to Casablanca he reports in vivid detail on the nature of life in this Muslim city with a rich, long, and complex history. For our class lab we will have a day-long, guided tour of Casablanca as we observe and visit many of the very places that appear in the book. Students will write a paper that will compare their expectations of and experiences in Casablanca.