Course Objective• Students become acquainted with some canonical texts from the long
19th century (British and American), and are able to relate them to
travel narratives written by the same authors.
• Students are familiar with the genre of (British and American) travel
writing and the developments of the genre between the late 18th and
early 20th century.
• Students understand how travel writing is implicated in the processes
of identity formation (both collective and individual) and intercultural
• Students are able to apply theoretical notions such as
transnationalism, national culture, space and place, and gender to
individual texts from the historical period.
• Students know how to start up and conduct a small academic research
project for their final essay (group project).
• Students are able to freely express their ideas in both written work
and informal, oral presentations.
• Students are able to engage in class discussions in a
diversity-sensitive manner and are (more) aware of sociopolitical issues
that play a role in culturally diverse classroom settings.
Course ContentThis course introduces students to American and British literature
written between the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the
20th century. As it is impossible to cover all Anglo-American writing of
the “long 19th century” in the course of seven weeks, we will focus on
one specific genre: travel writing. This literary genre, which has been
popular for centuries, has been much overlooked by academics and those
constituting the British and American literary canons. The new critical
paradigms of “transnationalism” and “globalization,” however,
necessitate a new and serious look at these texts. We will read travel
writings by authors such as Charles Dickens, Henry James and Mark Twain
in combination with canonized texts by these same authors. This will
allow us to compare and contextualize.
In addition, we will read and discuss some narratives written by lesser
known and more marginal authors, as well as a few critical essays on
travel writing. The course textbook is written by Carl Thompson, Travel
Writing (Routledge 2011). The level of English in this course is high.
You have to be able to read late 18th-, 19th- and early 20th-century
Teaching MethodsInteractive lectures, close-readings of the assigned texts, film
viewings and discussion, in-class group work, excursions, discussion of
Method of AssessmentClass participation, written assignments (Canvas posts; essay), exam.
Consult the study guide of the course for a description of how the
different components build up to the final grade.
Entry RequirementsPrerequisites: Students must also take (or have taken) part in one of
three other modules: either (1) “Literature, Culture, and Society”; (2)
“Introduction to American Studies”; or (3) “Social History of the United
LiteratureCarl Thompson, Travel Writing (Routledge 2011); selected 19th century
travel writings; selected 19th century canonized texts. See Canvas.
Target AudienceSecond-year students of the BA program Literature & Society: English;
Additional InformationAttendance required: 80%. Students who miss more than 20% will not
receive credits for the course.
Custom Course RegistrationSign up procedure: There is a slightly different enrollment procedure for this module. The standard procedure of the Faculty of Humanities has students sign up for (i) the module, (ii) the form of tuition (lecture and/or preferred seminar group), and (iii) the exam. However, for this module the instructor will assign the students to the seminar groups. Therefore, students should sign up for (i) the module and (iii) the exam, but not for (ii) the seminar groups.
|Language of Tuition||English|
|Faculty||Faculty of Humanities|
|Course Coordinator||dr. B. Boter|
|Examiner||dr. B. Boter|
dr. B. Boter
You need to register for this course yourself
Last-minute registration is available for this course.
This course is also available as: