ERIC Number: ED382990
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Stunned to Silence: Teaching Travel Writing as Metaphor and Meaning in Life.
Papay, Twila Yates
A sabbatical spent exploring the genre of travel writing began a writing instructor's journey to figure out what travel writing teaches--and how--and why it is so compelling to students. Her research in the genre of travel writing began as she was preparing students going abroad to keep meaningful journals. In middle- and advanced-level travel writing courses, students, too, are fascinated by travel writing and pursue a variety of writing projects. Travel writing's flexibility accommodates varied content. Teaching a range of students with different backgrounds and experiences invites an equally diverse array of materials--revisiting previous journeys through photographs, making oral presentations, etc. Much of the practice in shaping writing to experiment with topics, styles, and ways of thinking comes in the form of journal entries. Yet what remains so compelling is probably the concept of the journey as metaphor--the class, the teaching, the research, the discovery within the writing are all perceived as journey. Travel writing offers a way out of the dilemmas of expressive writing, which can disintegrate into whining and narcissism, because it both enlarges the canvas and deepens the perspective. Teachers of such a travel writing course model the receptive character of the traveller willing to be touched by people and places. Teachers can set some guidelines, but they must not define the journey in advance. Perhaps teachers model this best when they share their own writing, showing that they too can be touched or overwhelmed by discovery of people and places. (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Travel Writing
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (46th, Washington, DC, March 23-25, 1995).