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Seema Shrikhande, Ph.D



Required Best American Travel Writing, ed. Andrew McCarthy. Mariner Books, 2015

Travel Writing: See the World, Tell the Story, (2nd edition) L. Peat O’Neil. 2005.

Selections from Four Seasons in Rome, Anthony Doerr, The road to Little Dribbling by Bill Bryson, Tourists with Typewriters, Patrick Holland (purchase not needed, pdfs will be provided)

Travel blogs – links will be posted on Moodle.

Additional readings will be assigned and posted to Moodle.


Adios Strunk and White, Hoffman and Hoffman.

London: A Travel Guide Through Time, Matthew Green

In addition you will need a travel journal (small and portable is good) and a separate notebook for class exercises and homework.


Short articles (2 @15% each) 30%

Feature article 20%

Reading responses and FOB (4 @5% each) 20%

Class exercises and participation 15%

Total 100%

Grading Scale

A= 93-100; A- =90-92;

B+ = 87-89; B = 83-86; B- = 80-82;

C+ = 77-79; C= 73-76; C- = 70-72

D+ = 67-69; D = 60-66;

F= 59 and below

You will write two 800-word articles (travel narrative and destination) and one 1200-word feature article. In addition to this you will contribute one entry to the class blog, write 3 reading responses to the articles in the Best American Travel Writing collection and write one FOB piece. Your class participation grade will be based on satisfactory completion of writing exercises, activities during workshops and on maintaining a travel journal which will be submitted every Monday. Detailed handouts will be provided for each assignment.

In the writing business, deadlines are non-negotiable. Your articles/assignments are due on the day specified on Moodle. Late submissions will be penalized 5 points off per day. Work that is more than two days late will not be accepted. Reading responses will be collected digitally, through Moodle; articles must be submitted as a hard copy and on Moodle. A physical journal must be submitted every week. Blog posts will be assigned and scheduled on Moodle.

Course Policies

Attendance and class etiquette

Typically, class attendance affects performance positively. There are no allowed absences in this

course. In case of extenuating circumstances, please contact me. You are expected to participate

in class by completing in-class assignments and homework assignments.

Late arrivals or early departures from class may be counted as absences. If you must

leave early, please let me know at the beginning of class. Whether you attend class or not, you

are responsible for all materials presented in class and for all announcements and assignments.

If you miss class, contact a classmate or me to get you up to speed before the next class session

and check the course page on Moodle. If you have extenuating personal or medical

circumstances, contact me as soon as possible via e-mail or phone. You will be required to

submit valid documentation the day you return to class.

Cell phones and other communication devices should be turned off or set to vibrate and

not be used during class. The use of laptops should be limited to class-related work. Texting

and surfing the web are not appropriate in-class activities. Personal conversations are

disruptive to both your class mates and to me; any observations or insights you have should be

shared with the entire class.

Moodle and Email

Students should familiarize themselves with Moodle and check the course page regularly since

it will be used extensively to post homework assignments, supplementary readings and course

updates. Each student should maintain an active, functioning e-mail account that is capable of

receiving group e-mails.

Disability statement

Reasonable accommodations will be made on an individual basis only when the student

provides proper documentation.

Withdrawals and incompletes

The standard university policies on withdrawals as outlined in the most current edition of the

Bulletin, apply to this course.

Honor Code

Persons who come to Oglethorpe University for work and study join a community that is

committed to high standards of academic honesty. The honor code contains the responsibilities

we accept by becoming members of the community and the procedures we will follow should

our commitment to honesty be questioned. All work produced for this class will be governed by

the honor code.

The Code defines cheating as “the umbrella under which all academic malfeasance falls.

Cheating is any willful activity involving the use of deceit or fraud in order to attempt to secure

an unfair academic advantage for oneself or others or to attempt to cause an unfair academic

disadvantage to others. Cheating deprives persons of the opportunity for a fair and reasonable

assessment of their own work and/or a fair comparative assessment between and among the

work produced by members of a group. More broadly, cheating undermines our community’s

confidence in the honorable state to which we aspire.”

Students pledge that they have completed assignments honestly by attaching the following

statement to each piece of work submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a course: “I pledge I have acted honorably,” followed by their signature.

Course Schedule

This is a tentative schedule. Changes may be necessary as the semester progresses. Check Moodle for the most updated schedule.

Readings need to be completed before the class meets.

Key to readings: BATW: Best American Travel Writing; TW: Travel Writing: See the World, Tell the Story.

Week Topic Reading/Activity

Week 1

Monday Course Introduction Syllabus

Why we travel Pico Iyer’s blog post, BATW: Intro

Tuesday What is travel writing? TW: Ch.1; BATW: Neville

The Travel Journal TW: Ch. 3

Wednesday Preparing to Write TW: Ch. 2, BATW: Hessler, Steeves

Thursday Travel Blogs See moodle for links

Reading Response #1 due Check Moodle for handout.

Week 2

Monday Research and observation TW: Ch. 6; BATW: Abend, Maddux

Travel journals due

Tuesday Travel essays and travel narratives BATW: Anderson, Busch

Wednesday Structure and place TW: Ch. 4 BATW: Theroux

Reading Response #2 due

Thursday Field trip: TBA

Style and tone TW: Ch 5

Story 1—travel narrative due

Week 3

Monday Writing the Lead BATW: Symmes

Travel journals due

Tuesday Writing the body, conclusions

Destination articles Crispin.

Wednesday Travel journalism: magazines Travel and Leisure, CN Traveller

Reading Response #3 due

Thursday Field trip: TBA

Story 2 – destination article due

Planning your feature article and conferences

Week 4

Monday Travel journalism: newspapers NYT, WP articles

Planning your feature article and conferences

Tuesday Field trip: TBA

Wednesday Travel Photography See Moodle for links

Representing the ‘Other’ Cocking, Fursich

FOB piece due on Moodle

Thurs Finding a market for your writing TW: Ch 8.

Course reflection and wrap up

Article #3 due 6:00 pm

Readings and resources

Ben Cocking. (2009). Travel Journalism: Europe Imagining the Middle East. Journalism Studies, 10 (1): 54-58.

Crispin, Jessica. (2015). How not to be Elizabeth Gilbert.

Elfriede Fursich. (2002). How can global journalists represent the Other? : A critical assessment of the cultural studies concept for media practice. Journalism Studies 3(1): 57-81

Huffington Post: Best Travel Blogs

Pico Iyer. “Why we travel”

Steeves, Rick. (1997). How I Became a Travel Writer

A Taste of the Best Travel Writing (2002).

Travel Writers: Tim Cahill interview.

What Makes a Winning Travel Writing Piece (2013).

Travel and Leisure Magazine:

Food and Wine Magazine:

New York Times Travel Section

Conde Nast Traveler

Outside Magazine

National Geographic Traveler