Special Topics: Travel Literature and the Journeys Through Ourselves and Others

CHID 480
  • Quarters: Spring
  • General Education Requirements: I&S

Getting ready to go abroad isn’t only about booking a convenient hotel and reading up on the most famous sites. Going abroad also can be thought of as a series of reflective journeys through ourselves as well as others. From this perspective, we can ask a few questions: how do we imagine ourselves and our homes, in this particular society and culture? What would it mean to interact in a new cultural context, with those who seem “different” in some way? Whether we’re talking about traveling across our city, state, nation or farther away, all travel invokes categories of who we are and who others might be in relation to ourselves. In this class, a required pre-departure course for students traveling to Bangalore, India in the summer as well as other interested students, we will read travel literature, memoir, ethnography and creative nonfiction in order to better imagine the relationship between ourselves and others, here and there. We’ll be paying close attention to South Asia, as well as other parts of the Global South.