Senior Seminar in Travel Literature

Spring 2007
TR 6:00-7:50
Fun Housing IV

Thomas Kinsella
Office Hours, TR 1:00-1:15; and by appointment
J-230, Ext. 4419

This is a W2 course

Required Texts:
Paul Fussell. The Norton Book of Travel. Norton.

William Least Heat-Moon. Blue Highways. Back Bay Books.

Robert Byron. The Road to Oxiana. Oxford.

Laura Beatrice Burton. I Married the Klondike. Lost Moose Publishing.

Suggested Text:
Abroad : British Literary Traveling Between the Wars, Paul Fussell

(Link to Abebooks)
(Link to Amazon)

Expectations and Policies
This is a 4000-level literature course; as such I expect you to read each text thoroughly and very thoughtfully; I expect excellent attendance; and I expect you to meet your deadlines.

Attendance is mandatory. More than 3 absences and your grade will drop one mark; more than 5 and it will drop two marks; more than 7 and you will not pass the course.

I intend to rigorously enforce the due dates in this syllabus. You will need to plan accordingly. If you need extra help, ask for it. E-mail is an excellent way to contact me.

All writing should be error-free. You are expected to proofread for typographical, spelling, mechanical, and grammatical errors. Proofread and revise vigorously.

Academic Honesty
The Literature program expects all work you turn in to be your own. If you are found to have represented the work or ideas of others as your own, intentionally, or unintentionally, you will face serious consequences, as follows:

1. Any student who is found to have plagiarized a paper or assignment, in full or in part, must meet with the professor of the class for which the paper is written.

2. The professor will review the suspect work with the student.

3. If this is the first time the student has been found to have plagiarized, he/she will receive an "F" for that paper or assignment and/or the course.

4. For second offenses of plagiarism, the student will receive an F for the course.

Additionally, in accordance with Stockton College policy, literature faculty will report all instances of plagiarism to the Provost of Academic Affairs. Students may be subject to discipline by the college, such as being placed on academic probation or expelled. If you have any questions about plagiarism, I will be glad to discuss them with you.

Email is the best way to contact me. Please remember to provide a coherent subject line. Also, remember to include your name in the text of the email.

16 Introduction

18 Blue Highways

23 Blue Highways; assignment of brief text reports

25 Read introduction to The Norton Book of Travel; selection for Group Teaching from the Norton Anthology

30 No Class

1 Blue Highways; brief text reports

6 Abroad; brief text reports

8 Abroad; brief text reports

13 Abroad

15 Final text choice must be made by this date; Group teaching from The Norton Anthology of Travel: Intro to The Beginnings, 21-25; Marco Polo, 58-65; Sir John Mandeville, 65-77; Bernal Diaz del Castillo, 114-23.

20 Group 2 teaching from The Norton Anthology of Travel: Introduction to section, 129-32; Lady Mary Wortley Montague, 133-39; James Boswell, 178-81; Tobias Smollett, 199-201; Laurence Sterne, 224, 227-228, 239-41; Samuel Johnson, 241-46. 256-57.

22 Group 3 teaching from The Norton Anthology of Travel: Introduction to section, 271-77; Robert Louis Stevenson, 416-26; Freya Stark, 552-64.

27 I Married the Klondike; Group teaching from The Norton Anthology of Travel: Introduction, 651-53; Hemingway, 673-83; Jan Morris, 715-37

1 Group teaching from The Norton Anthology of Travel

6 Five (5) page Thesis Proposal due on this date; I Married the Klondike

8 Work on Literature Search continues

March 10-18: Spring Break

20 Thesis Proposals returned; The Road to Oxiana

22 The Road to Oxiana

27 Precepting; no class

29 The Road to Oxiana

3 Research & Writing

5 Research & Writing

10 Research & Writing

12 15-page draft with annotated bibliography due; Discussion and Questions

17 Presentations

19 Presentations

24 Presentations

26 Presentations; Thesis is due

1 Presentations; last class

Travel Stories Selection and Presentation
Students will be working in groups of approximately 6 students. Each group will be assigned texts from the Norton Book of Travel. On the appropriate date, each group will lead a 45 minute discussion on their assignment, focusing on travel & literary concerns.

Brief Text Reports
Each student will be assigned a text from the list below (some titles will be assigned twice). Go to the library and find enough information on the author, text, general reception, and scholarly background to provide a 4 to 5 minute introduction.

Group teaching from The Norton Anthology of Travel
Slightly complicated, but consider the following. There will be five groups of students. Each group will be assigned a section in The Norton Book of Travel. Members of the group must choose approximately 30 pages of reading that will be assigned to the entire class, in addition to the introductory pages for each section (you will need to decide and inform the class one week before your group's class session). On the day that you teach, your group will lead class discussion of the assigned texts. That's it.

Text Selection The culmination of your work is a 25-30 page thesis discussing travel & literary issues found in one text. I am asking that you select your texts from the list below. More than one person can choose the same text.

The Texts

Theses Texts:

W. H. Auden and Christopher Isherwood, Journey to a War

Isabella Bird, Letters to Henrietta

Alan Booth, Looking for the Lost: Journeys Through a Vanishing Japan

Bill Bryson, In A Sunburned Country

Robert Byron, Road to Oxiana

Alexandra David-Neel, My Journey to Lhasa

Robyn Davidson, Tracks: A Woman's Solo Trek Across 1,700 Miles of Australian Outback

Lawrence Durrell, Prospero's Cell: A Guide to the Landscape and Manners of the Island of Corcyra

George Gissing, By the Ionian Sea: Notes of a Ramble in Southern Italy

Graham Greene, The Lawless Roads

Pico Iyer, Video Night in Kathmandu: And Other Reports from the Not-So-Far East

Mary Kingsley, Travels in West Africa

D. H. Lawrence, D.H. Lawrence and Italy: Twilight in Italy, Sea and Sardinia, Etruscan Places

V. S. Naipaul, A Bend in the River

Eric Newby, Short Walk in the Hindu Kush

George Orwell, Homage to Catalonia

Ryszard Kapuciski, The Soccer War

Vikram Seth, From Heaven Lake: Travels Through Sinkiang and Tibet

Freya Stark, Riding to the Tigris

Robert Louis Stevenson, Travels With a Donkey in the Cevennes, and Selected Travel Writings

Paul Theroux, The Old Patagonian Express: By Train Through the Americas

Paul Theroux, The Great Railway Bazaar

Wilfred Thesiger, Arabian Sands

Edward Whymper, Scrambles Amongst the Alps: In the Years 1860-69


You must attend class, participate actively, work usefully within your presentation group, submit your 5 page Thesis Proposal, submit your 15-draft on time, and participate successfully in the final presentations. Failure to do any of these things will lower your grade. If you have satisfactorily completed each of these requirements, your grade will depend entirely upon the quality of your thesis.

The key to the senior seminar is plenty of structured, hard work. Set aside time for reading, thinking, and writing. I will not give incompletes.

Sen Sem Blog