Course Description

Course Number


Course Name

Travel, Exile, and the Literary Imagination


Course Credits



Why do we travel? What does it mean to call oneself a "citizen of the world"? This course explores how the adventure of travel and the displacement of exile fuel the literary imagination by uprooting the mind from its familiar ground. We will encounter the New World with European explorers (Shakespeare's The Tempest), journey to Europe with journalists, tourists, and students (Margaret Fuller, E. M. Forster, and Woody Allen's Vicky Cristina Barcelona), map new imaginative geographies in poetry (Elizabeth Bishop), and laugh with master travel writers as they experience culture shock (Bill Bryson). Finally, we will return to Boston to see our home city through the new eyes of immigrants to the United States (Mary Antin and Jhumpa Lahiri).