Syllabus with readings here
General course information here
An introduction to travel writing in French from different periods, 16th through 21st centuries. We will consider travel in its forms of embodied practice as much as its forms of writing; discussions will be sociological as well as literary. We will attempt to challenge the hegemony of travel accounts by the privileged, and also look at travel in its involuntary forms (exile, forced migration) as well as accounts by subaltern subjects. Why do we travel? Who gets to travel? What ideologies are revealed or challenged by travel? Who benefits? What do we gain when considering the point of view of the "travelee" as well as the traveller?
Readings and discussions will be both in French and English. While our primary texts will be in French, most of the sociologically-oriented secondary literature on travel is in English, so discussions will probably break down along those lines (primary texts = French; secondary analysis = English.) We will occasionally view a travel documentary in French and analyse it through the lenses of privilege and stereotype. Students will keep a reading journal, give one oral presentation in class, do one short mid-term quiz, participate actively in discussions, and write a final essay project.