On the Road: A History of Travel in Twentieth-Century America

Syllabus

Weekly Readings

Week One

Travel Documents

Week Two

Tim Cresswell, "Mobility as Resistance: A Geographical Reading of Kerouac's On The Road," in Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers (1993)

Week Three

Colleen Kinder, "Blot Out," in The Best American Travel Writing of 2013 (edited by Elizabeth Gilbert)

Week Four

Isabel Wilkerson, "Tamir Rice and Emmett Till, Sons of the Great Migration," New York Times, February 12, 2016

Week Five

Hannah Paterson, "Two Characters in Search of a Direction: Motivation and the Construction of Identity in Badlands," in Hannah Paterson, The Cinema of Terrence Malick (2007). 

Week Six

Lisa Abend, “The Sound of Silence,” in The Best American Travel Writing of 2013, edited by Elizabeth Gilbert.

Week Seven

Jennifer Enevold, “The Daughters of Thelma and Louise: New? Aesthetics of the Road,” in Gender, Genre, & Identity in Women’s Travel Writing, ed., Kristi Siegel (2004)

Week Eight

Susan J. Matt, “Immigrants and the Dream of Return,” in Homesickness: An American History (2011)
Susan J. Matt, “Transferring Loyalties,” in in Homesickness: An American History (2011)

Week Nine

“The Dreamway,” in Tom Lewis, Divided Highways (2013)

Week Ten

Heidi Slettedahl Macpherson, “Women’s Travel Writing and the Politics of Location: Somewhere In-Between,” in Gender, Genre, & Identity in Women’s Travel Writing, ed., Kristi Siegel (2004).

Presentation Readings

The Birth of the American Road Film

David Laderman, "What a Trip: The Road Film and American Culture," The Journal of Film and Video (1996)

The Perils of Women's Travel

Kristi Siegel, "Women's Travel and the Rhetoric of Peril: It Is Suicide to be Abroad," Gender, Genre, and Identity in Women's Travel Writing (2004)

The Experiences of American Expatriates

Each group member will read one chapter.

  1. “Mapping the Routes to Ghana: Black Modernity, Subjecthood, and Demands for Full Citizenship”
  2. Richard Wright in Ghana: Black Intellectuals and the Anti-Colonial Critique of Western Culture
  3. Pauli Murray in Ghana: The Congo Crisis and an African American Woman’s Dilemma

All articles are in Kevin Gaines, African Americans in Ghana: Black Expatriates and the Civil Rights Era (2006)
This book is on reserve at Green Library.

Photography and the American Road Trip

David Company, The Open Road: The Photography of the American Roadtrip (2014)
This book is on reserve at Green Library.

Early American Travel

Rich Cohen, "Pirate City," in The Best American Travel Writing of 2013 (edited by Elizabeth Gilbert). 

New Ways of Telling the Travel Stories of Latinas

Jacqueline Stefanko, "New Ways of Telling Latinas' Narratives of Exile and Return," in Frontiers: A Journal of Women's Studies (1996)

Homesickness and the Theme of the Road in The Wizard of Oz

Pamela Robertson, “Home and Away: Friends of Dorothy on the Road in Oz,” in The Road Movie Book, eds., Steven Cohan and Ina Rae Hark. 

The Theme of the Road in Clint Eastwood Films

Shari Roberts, “Western Meets Eastwood: Genre and Gender on the Road,” in The Road Movie Book, eds., Steven Cohan and Ina Rae Hark. Link will be posted soon.

The “New” Genre of Queer Road Movies

Robert Lang, “My Own Private Idaho and the New Queer Road Movies,” in The Road Movie Book, eds., Steven Cohan and Ina Rae Hark. Link will be posted soon.