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Marco Polo and Mark Twain are just a couple examples of travel writers who, through their rendition of place in persuasive prose, radically altered how readers pictured the world. Through descriptions of people encountered and landscapes traversed, travel writers familiarize the unknown in order to transform places into culturally significant landmarks in the imagination of their armchair readers. As a genre, travel writing is an excellent illustration of the immediate power of prose and lends itself well to the study of the effective use of words in ways that push against cliché and stereotypes. In this class, we will analyze some signature pieces of this genre as a way to develop our own prose styles. Classwork will consist of discussion of various essays, composition, and peer critiques of student writing. Required textbook: Best American Travel Writing 2013, edited by Elizabeth Gilbert and Jason Wilson.
Please note that I do not get addcodes until the first week of the quarter.