Transportation & the Rise of Mass Tourism: Travel Literature


Our attention this semester is primarily on literary texts – works of fiction and non-fiction – that represent travel in some way. Travel, however, suffuses the world we live in, not just in these texts but in a dizzying array of other material and artifacts. To help us better appreciate how travel is represented beyond the works of literature we’re studying, we will look to popular culture, specifically the tourism industry. For the next two weeks, we will focus on exploring how travel was represented by the tourist industry during the period of that industry’s emergence and dominance as a powerful economic and imaginative force. We will learn about how to conduct some basic research in digital archives and how to write about the representation of travel using these archives and the specific research questions that each of you wants to pursue. Ultimately, we will seek to understand some of the many ways that the rise of tourism changed and multiplied the many meanings of travel. 

In the second week you will draft and revise your essays and submit them by the end of the week. Note that the interaction prompts for these two weeks are incorporated into some of the due dates for the stages of this assignment (so the discussion board and blog work these two weeks will meet the due dates listed below except for the final draft due date). 

In your essays, you must analyze in detail at least three different artifacts. These artifacts can be from the same website or different ones; either way you must cite them using MLA format and list them in a Works Cited page. Since these are academic essays, they need to convey your main research question, be driven by your thesis, use logical essay structure, and meet the expectations of an academic audience. 


Research Proposal (blog): Week 6, Tuesday
Analysis of Artifact (discussion board): Week 6, Thursday Rough Draft (discussion board): Week 7, Thursday
Final Draft: Week 7, Sunday 


Write a 3-5 page analysis of how one specific group of people, tourist destination, mode of transportation, travel activity, or tourism-related company are represented in artifacts from digital archives. Your analysis should center on a narrow research question you want to investigate, and so we will work as a class on crafting those questions. W
e will develop our research questions and ability to analyze cultural artifacts that incorporate verbal and visual elements. 

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