Foundation/Modern: History of Travel and Tourism
Dr. Alexander Varias
This course will focus on the historical experience of travel and travelers from ancient times to the present. In this pursuit, we will include study of the material conditions connected to travel and the experiences and evolving consciousness of travelers during particular eras. Both primary and secondary sources are stressed in the readings for seminar discussion and for students’ research and writing of papers. Sources can also be connected to visual images drawn from painting, sculpture, architecture, and film that form part of the “memory bank” and consciousness of travelers and tourists—two contrasting sets of people as will be clear during the course of the semester.
A major focus of the course will be the relationship of the travel experience to the cultural, social, and political attitudes of specific historical eras. Related to this concern are a number of others regarding the history of travel and travel writing: the transformation of travel over time--especially with the development of industrialization; the ways in which particular “other” places have appeared to visitors from afar; the use of mythology and utopian imagination to conceive of particular “exotic” locales; the emergence of mass travel and the effects of steamships, trains, and airplanes in transforming the nature of travel; the reflection of home life on board the new vehicles in terms of comfort, design, and decor, and social stratification; the emergence of leisure travel among non-elite travelers; the varying perceptions offered by men and women who wrote about travel; and the roles of imperialism and immigration in stimulating travel. In addition to relevant readings from books and articles, we will also give attention to the presentation of the travel adventure on film.
Dr. Kelly Welch
Since the publication of John Rawls' A Theory of Justice in 1971, the fundamental moral norm of justice, as described by Rawls, has been extensively discussed and analyzed by moral, political, and social philosophers. This seminar begins with students critically analyzing components of just societies and implications of social justice—or absence thereof—for the pursuit of criminal justice, in light of the work of Rawls and others. We will examine dynamics of social justice in relation to specific groups categorized according to race, class, gender, sexuality, religion, age, and “otherness.” Both interpersonal and institutional inequalities will be addressed.
It is my hope that this class will encourage students to understand different perspectives on the basic elements of just societies, critically assess the nature of American society from the perspective of social justice, consider various proposals on how to advance social justice, and evaluate a specific issue in the context of proposing reform and increasing equality and justice for all. This will be an intense and exciting seminar!
The Machine in the Garden: American Architecture and Landscape
Dr. Margaret Grubiak
In his 1964 book The Machine in the Garden: Technology and the Pastoral Ideal in America, author Leo Marx traces the persistent ideal—and some say myth—of the pastoral and wild in the American landscape and how such an idea clashes with our modern life, one often ruled by technology and the machine. In this seminar course, we will explore how the desire to live out
a simple life, idealized in the pastoral and wilderness landscape, is held in tension with the complex life we actually carry out. We will take Marx’s idea of “the machine in the garden” and examine it through an interdisciplinary lens. Considering literature, history, and art as well as architectural and landscape perspectives, we will come to understand how the machine and industrialization writ large have shaped the American landscape and how we perceive it.