English | Literatures in English, 1900-Present
E304 | 12554 | Dewitt Kilgore

Dewitt Kilgore

12554 - 4:00p-5:15p TR (30 students) 3 cr. A&H.

TOPIC:  “Travelers’ Tales:  Exploration and Adventure in American
and British Writing”

The twentieth century marked the peak of global exploration
motivated by imperial ambition and missionary zeal, commercial
interest and scientific curiosity.  This course considers the record
of that movement in British and American writing during the past
hundred years.  Through our reading of fictional and non-fictional
narratives of  travel, exploration, and adventure we will explore
the following questions:   How did English-speaking writers come to
know and exercise imaginative control over the world beyond their
native lands?  What are the conventions necessary to literary
narratives presenting the relationship between the West and the
rest; how were they created, maintained or subverted?  What role
does race and gender play in the making of western and “native”
persons?  And how have the rest used the tropes of exploration to
contest and rewrite their place in the Anglo-American imagination?
Our principle destinations will be Africa, Antarctica, India and
South America.  We will explore several modes of rendering other
people and places including popular and cinematic representations.
Our literary guides will likely include Owen Wister, Joseph Conrad,
Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Salman Rushdie.

This course requires two papers (3-5 typewritten pages, double-
spaced), two exams, one research team project, active and informed
classroom participation and attendance.