SU Florence Travel Writing Course Promises Fun, Growth, & Introspection

“I met a lot of people in Europe. I even encountered myself.”–James Baldwin

This morning Florence professor Dr. Antonella Francini took some time away from researching at Yale to swing by our Syracuse office and chat with us about her travel writing course, taught at SU Florence. In ETS 410: Literary Travels: Introduction to the History of Genres, Francini’s students learn about travel writing by examining journals and letters written by English and Americans traveling through Italy, going to museums, and re-tracing the itineraries of famous writer-tourists like Melville, Longfellow, and Cooper.

Francini said, “There is a heritage here [students] should be aware of. The class provides a historical context for studying abroad and teaches students how to write about a journey.” The syllabus also includes essays by Jack Kerouac, Bruce Chatwin, Jamaica Kincaid, and Susan Sontag.

Francini’s goal for her students is for them to examine their motivations for studying abroad and look more closely at what it is they hope to learn about the world and themselves while in Italy. “At the center of travel writing is the traveler. This is really a class about writing an autobiography,” said Francini.

Dr. Francini will be giving a presentation today entitled “Dante in the Visual Arts.” Check it out at 4:00 in 316 HBC.

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