English | Literatures in English, 1900-Present
E304 | 6966 | DeWitt Kilgore

DeWitt Kilgore

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, Beryl Bainbridge, 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.