England and the World: Travel Literature from 1700-1900
As Britons traveled and Britain shifted from “empire of the seas” to the “empire on which the sun never sets,” writers experimented with and argued over writing, knowledge, and the Britain's role in global politics and economics. We will read a variety of texts focused on travel. Questions we will address include: What did Britons write about the places they traveled to? What did they think of other lands and people? How did other lands and people influence and shape Britain? How was knowledge learned abroad conveyed in writing? What does travel have to do with British life, politics, and economics? How are travel and British life portrayed in novels, discussed in poems, or developed in philosophy?
A selection of texts written in the 18th and 19th centuries will be assigned, including 2-3 novels, several poems, excerpts from collected letters, philosophical treatises, and other writings. We will also read a limited number of scholarly articles on the time period and literature.
This course fulfills the VLPA general requirement.
Grades will be based on regular 1-page response papers, an in-class presentation, an in-class midterm and a take-home final exam.
Class time will be divided between short lectures on topics pertinent to course material, large group discussion, and small group discussion.
Note that University of Washington expects approximately 15 hours per week spent on a 5 credit course. Nightly reading assignments will vary in length and difficulty. We will discuss reading strategies in class.