|Semester and Year||FA 2012|
|Time||2:00 PM - 3:15 PM|
Course meets during the last seven weeks only, October 23–December 15.
Going on the road is an archetypal American experience, the subject of countless poems, songs, movies, novels, and travel books. Throughout the country’s history, native-born writers and visitors from abroad have hit the road in the hope that through direct experience they could come to a better understanding of the American character and what the country is all about. In this course we travel across the country with these writers, exploring such questions as: What is the “American way of life,” and can some values, myths, and obsessions be seen as distinctly American? What does it mean to speak of a national identity, when there’s so much social and cultural diversity? How do the road trip narratives map the regional and literary geography of the country? Why this love of movement and speed, this romance with the road? Readings may include Twain’s Roughing It , Miller’s The Air-conditioned Nightmare , Beauvoir’s America Day by Day , Steinbeck’s Travels with Charlie , Kerouac’s On the Road , Wolfe's The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test , Least Heat-Moon’s Blue Highways , and Baudrillard’s America .
Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)