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Exploring the Possibilities of Travel Writing

Semester and Year SP 2012
Course Number WRTNG-UG1315
Section 001
Instructor Aaron Hamburger
Days Mon
Time 3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Units 4.0
Level U
Foundation Requirement


In this creative writing workshop, we unearth the wide range of creative possibilities available to practitioners of the much-misunderstood genre of travel literature. In addition to developing practical skills of research and crafting sentences, we consider how the struggle to capture settings with words reveals larger truths about not only the places we visit, but also the people who inhabit them (including ourselves). Other issues we examine include the ethical dilemmas of travel writing, the relationship of place of origin to destination, and the thorny question of the “authentic” travel experience. Students craft four original pieces during the term that represent four different genres of travel literature. We begin with two shorter pieces and then work toward creating a longer research-based non-fiction feature. Finally, we conclude with a work of short fiction. For inspiration, we do short exercises and analyze work by writers like D. H. Lawrence, Ernest Hemingway, Patricia Highsmith, Bruce Chatwin, W. G. Sebald, Mary Gordon, Jhumpa Lahiri, Barack Obama, as well as contemporary working travel writers.



Course Type

Advanced Writing Courses (WRTNG-UG)

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New York University
Gallatin School of Individualized Study
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