Fall 2015


    Lester Faigley
    Robert Adger Law and Thos. H. Law Professor in Humanities
    English | Rhetoric and Writing

    email: faigley AT utexas.edu
    office: Calhoun 216
    office phone: 471-7471
    office hours: Tuesdays 11:00-12:15 and 2:00-2:30,
            Thursdays 11:00-12:15 or by appointment


    The focus of this course will be on the reinvention of travel literature as an active and diverse genre. At a time when tourism has triumphed over travel and when you can surf the Web while drinking a Coke throughout much of the world, the possibilities of travel have been rediscovered by some of the best writers living today.

    We will begin the course by examining the urge to travel and what we learn from traveling, starting with Robyn Davidson's solo odyssey across the Australian desert with four camels and a dog. Then we'll read Bruce Chatwin's wanderings in Patagonia, Ryzard Kapuscinski's eloquent comments on his visits to troubled nations during the Cold War, and Jon Krakauer's account of disaster on Mt. Everest along with short readings.

    You will keep a reading journal, which you will share with the class. You'll also write a travel essay and a seminar paper organized around a central issue or question raised in three travel books.

    A syllabus and more information about the course are available on Canvas.


      Robyn Davidson. Tracks. Vintage, 1995. ISBN 0-679-76287-6

      Bruce Chatwin, In Patagonia, Penguin, 2003, ISBN: 978-0142437190

      Ryzard Kapuscinski, Travels with Herodotus, Vintage, 2007, ISBN 978-1-4000-7878-3

      Jon Krakauer. Into Thin Air. Anchor, 1998. ISBN: 0-385-492089

      Faigley. The Little Penguin Handbook. 3rd ed. Longman, 2012. Available as a PDF from professor.


Please note that there will be penalties for late work. Reading journal entries must be presented on the day scheduled to receive full credit of 3 points each.

For projects the late penalty is 4 points for each calendar day. The late penalty applies to both drafts and final versions.

    Points possible
    Reading journal
    Travel book map
    Travel essay
    Term project

    Point equivalents for final grades
    100-93 = A
    92-90 = A-
    89-87 = B+
    86-83 = B
    82-80 = B-
    79-77 = C+
    76-73 = C
    72-70 = C-
    69-67 = D+
    66-63 = D
    62-60 = D-
    59-0 = F



Participation is ESSENTIAL. You expect me to report for work—and on time. I expect the same of you. Coming in late is disruptive. So be punctual. Six absences results in failure of the course.


All work in this course must be your own creation, including photographs. If you wish to incorporate someone else's ideas or images, you must acknowledge your source. If you have questions about the use of source materials, see me before turning in the assignment. Plagiarism is a serious offense in college and can result in failure for the course and possibly expulsion.

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