‘Travel and English Literature’ Trinity Elective

My name is Dr. Pádraic Whyte and I
lecture at the School of English. I’d like to introduce the school’s Trinity
elective – “Travel and English Literature”. We live in a world where issues of
travel dominate the headlines – Europe’s refugee crisis on land and sea, US immigration policy and the treatment of migrants, and Brexit and the Irish border. This module is firmly positioned within the cultural context of these societal
challenges and throughout, you will explore the multiple ways in which
English literature, past and present, engages with ideas of travel. So, if you
are passionate about all things travel-related, if you want to evaluate diverse
representations of travel across novels, poems, stories and if you want to develop
your skills as a critical thinker and reader, then this is the Trinity elective
for you. In this module, we’ll cover topics such as the sea voyage and
colonialism, encountering new landscapes and cultures, crossing borders, travel
writing and tourism and navigating the global city. We’ll also relate debated
issues such as gender, sexualities, race and class. And we’ll ask you to consider
the impact of these factors on the movement of individuals. Who has the
agency and power to travel and why? Each week, you’ll conduct a preparatory
reading before attending a face-to-face lecture. You’ll contribute to online
discussions, you’ll participate in a group project and you’ll complete
written assignments. You’ll learn to reflect critically on a wide range of
literary texts from across several centuries and we’ll encourage you to
relate the debates that we have to challenges in your own discipline. This
is a team talk module that will open up new ways of thinking about literary
texts, about different cultures and peoples and about societal challenges, providing you with essential skills that will continue to serve you as a global
citizen. We look forward to working with you.

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