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NOTE: This class will be held in an online format using the Zoom Platform.
Got wanderlust? Don’t let the coronavirus quash it. Traveling is a mindset. In this two-week course, we will learn new ways of bearing witness to our rapidly changing world so that we can turn any journey into a travel narrative—even if we’re venturing no farther than our driveway. We will start with deep readings and discussions of travel literature throughout the ages—from Ibn Battuta’s medieval adventures to Robyn Davidson’s 1,700 mile trek across the Australian Outback with four camels and a dog named Diggety. Through craft talks and writing prompts, we will then devise methods to weave our observations, conversations, and reportage into story arcs that recreate the places pivotal to our lives through sensory detail. At the end of the first week, we will swap manuscripts and then spend the bulk of the second week conducting peer critiques via facilitated workshops. Each student will also receive a private, half-hour consultation with the instructor. Throughout the course, we will discuss the ethical dilemmas inherent to this genre, from its colonial origins to its carbon footprint. By the end, we will each have a completed essay and ideas for how to pitch it for publication. So lace up your boots! Together, we will be roaming in quarantine.
Meeting Times: ZOOM class on M/W/F from 2-4:15 pm EDT; Skype Consultations T/Th 2-3:30pm EDT
Instructor: Stephanie Elizondo Griest
Stephanie Elizondo Griest is a globetrotting author from the Texas/Mexico borderlands. Her five award-winning books include the travel memoirs: All the Agents and Saints; Mexican Enough; Around the Bloc: My Life in Moscow, Beijing, and Havana; and the best-selling guidebook 100 Places Every Woman Should Go. She has also written for the New York Times, Washington Post, VQR, Believer, and Oxford American. Distinctions include a Henry Luce Scholarship to China, a Margolis Award for Social Justice Reporting, a Hodder Fellowship at Princeton, and a Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Gold Prize. Currently the Associate Professor of Creative Nonfiction at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, she has performed on five continents in capacities ranging from a Moth storyteller to a literary ambassador for the U.S. State Department.