Examines a different subject or problem from a comparative framework with an interdisciplinary perspective. Offered: AWSp.
This course will explore narratives of women who have pioneered traveling, exploring the world, physically and intellectually, paving the way for subsequent generations of travelers, and redefining the boundaries of their personal worlds, their societies’ constructs of what it means to be a woman, and even the shapes of empires. We will engage with a variety of narratives, beginning with radical pioneers from Europe and Russia: Mary Wollestonecraft’s Journey to Sweden, Nadezhda Durova’s The Cavalry Maiden, and Gertrude Bell’s Arabian Diaries. We will explore why these early women travelers were motivated, or felt compelled, to leave their homes, families and countries to become the first female diplomats, soldiers, and archeologists, nomads in a new world: what impulse in the human psyche causes this kind of change, this kind of transformation from traditional ways of being? We will, of course, bring our discussion into the 21st century, exploring the myriad ways that contemporary women travel, transforming themselves, and their worlds.
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