Travel Writing and Travel Texts

Subject 106-229 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2009:

Semester 2, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 1.5-hour lecture and a 1-hour tutorial per week.
Total Time Commitment: Not available

Usually 12.5 pts of first year English Literary Studies

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Prof Deirdre Patrica Coleman


Deirdre Coleman

Subject Overview:

This subject examines a wide range of travel writing texts from the early eighteenth century onwards. Some of the texts are imaginary voyages, some are non-fictional works prompted by scientific curiosity, commerce, colonization, diplomacy, exploration, and tourism. One of our aims will be to examine how travel is mediated by the text and how that mediation constructs both the experience and the identity of the writer. Special areas of focus will include women's travel writing; depictions of the body in travel writing; Romantic travel; orientalism and racism; colonialism and postcolonial theory.

Objectives: gain an overview of travel writing from the early 18th century through to the contemporary era;
examne the interaction of Western travellers with native landscapes and inhabitants beyond European knowledge;
explore the importance of textual traditions in shaping responses to cultural contacts;
be able to discuss and write about travel texts in a sophisticated manner;
have acquired a transportable set of interpretive skills;
have developed the capacity for independent research;
have developed the capacity for critical thinking and analysis;
have developed the ability to communicate in writing.

Written work totaling 4000 words, consisting of one 1500 word essay, due mid-semester, and one 2500 word essay, due at the end of the semester, each worth 50% of the final grade. Regular tutorial attendance (80%), a class presentation, and participation in class discussion are required to pass the subject. Note:Assessment submitted late without an approved formal extension will be penalised at 2% per day. Students who fail to submit up to 2-weeks after the final due date without a formal extension and/or special consideration will receive a fail grade for the piece of assessment.

Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available.

  • Turkish Embassy Letters, 1716 (published 1763) (Lady Mary Wortley Montagu)
  • Gulliver's Travels, 1726 (J Swift)
  • Travel Writing 1700-1830: An Anthology (Elizabeth A Bohls and Ian Duncan eds), Oxford Worlds Classics, 2006.
  • Retrospect of Western Travel, 1838 (Harriet Martineau)
  • Travels in West Africa, 1897 (Mary Kingsley)
  • Songlines, 1987 (Bruce Chatwin)
  • The European Tribe, 1987 (Caryl Phillip)
Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • acquire skills in research: through the competent use of library, and other (including online) information sources and through the successful definition of areas of inquiry and methods of research;

  • acquire critical thinking and analysis through the use of recommended reading, essay writing and tutorial discussion; through the questioning of accepted wisdom and the ability to shape and strengthen persuasive judgments and arguments; through attention to detail in reading material; and through openness to new ideas and the development of critical self-awareness;

  • acquire theoretical thinking: through the use of recommended reading, essay writing and tutorial discussion; through a productive engagement with relevant methodologies and paradigms in literary studies and the broader humanities;

  • acquire creative writing: through essay writing and tutorial discussion; through the innovative conceptualising of problems and an appreciation of the role of creativity in critical analysis;

  • acquire social ethical and cultural understanding: through the use of recommended reading, essay writing and tutorial discussion; through the social contextualization of arguments and judgments; through adaptations of knowledge to new situations and openness to new ideas; and through development of critical self-awareness in relation to an understanding of other cultures and practices;

  • acquire intelligent and effective communication of knowledge and ideas: through essay preparation, planning and writing as well as tutorial discussion; through effective dissemination of ideas from recommended reading and other relevant information sources; through clear definition of areas of inquiry and methods of research; through confidence to express ideas in public forums;

  • acquire time managment and planning: through the successful organization of workloads; through disciplined self-direction and the ability to meet deadlines.

Related Course(s): Bachelor of Arts(Media and Communications)
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: English
English Literary Studies Major

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