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ENGL337 Creative Writing: Travel Narratives

A practical course on writing travel narratives, with an emphasis on examining noted examples of travel writing from throughout history.

Ishmael's attempts to represent the homeland of Queequeg are frustrated by the difficulty of faithfully rendering the foreign into familiar terms.

As every travel writer knows, maps and books tell only part of the truth. By what process does the traveller describe, interpret and represent people and places that are other to him?

Among the chief characteristics that will be examined in this paper are the role of the narrator/traveller; a narrative style that borrows from fiction; the representation of the strange and exotic in ways that familiarise and distance the foreign; a concern with language and literature; and thematic concerns that go beyond descriptions of people and places visited.

Students will create their own travel narratives by employing the techniques learnt from examining and assessing the travel narratives written by others.

Paper title Creative Writing: Travel Narratives
Paper code ENGL337
Subject English
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Not offered in 2023 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $955.05
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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18 200-level ENGL points
Schedule C
Arts and Music
Students who have not passed the normal prerequisite may be admitted with approval from the Head of Department.
Teaching staff

Professor Simone Marshall

Paper Structure
ENGL 337 is taught in one 2-hour workshop each week of the semester. The first half of the semester will be devoted to reading and analysing the techniques of travel narratives, and the second half of the semester will be devoted to workshopping your own travel writings.

To be confirmed when paper is next offered.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

Students who complete this paper will have achieved the following results:

  • Developed a familiarity with and knowledge of significant examples of travel narrative literature
  • Developed the necessary critical thinking skills required to assess travel narrative literature
  • Developed an awareness and understanding of the techniques and methods used in writing travel narratives
  • Developed the skills and knowledge to write travel narratives independently
  • Developed the skills and knowledge of the writing process, particularly the process of revision and editing of writing

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Not offered in 2023

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system