Reading & Composition
Roots/Routes/Ruptures: Travel in the Americas
Since before Columbus’ ‘discovery’ to current (im)migration crises, travel has played a significant role in America's story. But how and why have the many movements of people and goods shaped the ways we imagine America—its pasts, presents, and possible futures? What does it mean to travel within or to a ‘New World’ continent—to explore or take a trip, to be on the move or be (re)moved—and how do experiences of travel impact our sense of place and belonging? If the Americas were imagined by Europe as a site to locate riches and map unchartered routes, how has the same continent been mapped and traveled alternatively, (re)imagined as a site of roots and ruptures?
In this course, we will take questions like these as a point of departure for our own semester-long journey through a rich body of materials—visual and literary, stretching from the 15th century to the 21st—all of which help us (re)think the theme of travel in the Americas. While we wander across media and historical periods, we will also practice our reading and writing skills, covering college-writing basics with the aim of supporting every student in their search to make space for their voice and ideas within academia.