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Martin Kevorkian, Chair CAL 226, Mailcode B5000, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4991

Fall 2007

E 324 • Great Adventures

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
35780 TTh
11:00 AM-12:30 PM
PAR 204

Course Description

Will Not Count Toward a Major in English.

Great journeys of the past have inspired much great writing, and this tradition continues to the present. At a time when tourism has triumphed over travel and when you can surf the Web while drinking a Coke throughout much of the world, the possibilities of adventure travel have been rediscovered by some of the best writers living today.

We will begin the course with Apsley Cherry-Garrard's classic account of the exploration of Antarctica, which has been called the War and Peace of travel literature. Then we'll read Dervla Murphy's tale of a bicycle trip from Ireland to India, Redmond O'Hanlon's humorous account of a journey to the center of Borneo, Robyn Davidson's solo odyssey across the Australian desert with four camels and a dog, and Jon Krakauer's account of the disaster on Mt. Everest.

You will keep a reading journal, which you will share with the class. You'll also write a travel essay, an essay on a travel or adventure book beyond our course, and an essay on an issue in travel or adventure literature raised by more than one book.

Grading Policy

Reading journal (10 entries, 200-400 words each) 20%
Travel essay (5 pages) 25%
Essay on a travel book (4 pages) 25%
Essay on an issue in travel or adventure literature (5-7 pages) 30%


Apsley Cherry-Garrard, The Worst Journey in the World, Penguin Classics, 2006, ISBN 0-14-303938-5
Dervla Murphy, Full Tilt, Overlook, 1987, ISBN 0-87951-248-2
Redmond O'Hanlon, Into the Heart of Borneo, Vintage, 1987, ISBN 0-394-75540-5
Robyn Davidson, Tracks, Vintage, 1995, ISBN 0-679-76287-6
Jon Krakauer, Into Thin Air, Knopf, 1999. ISBN 0-385-49478-5


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