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Why should I take this Trinity Elective?

We live in a world where issues of travel dominate the headlines - Europe’s refugee crisis on land and sea, US immigration policy and the treatment of migrants, Brexit and the Irish border, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This module is firmly positioned within the cultural context of these societal challenges and, throughout, you will explore the multiple ways in which English literature - past and present - engages with ideas of travel. If you have a passion for all things travel-related; if you want to evaluate diverse representations of travel in poetry, novels, and stories; if you want to develop your skills as a critical reader and thinker, then this is the Trinity Elective for you.
Recommendations from former students:

  • “Reignited my passion for critical analysis of literature, which I hadn't done since the Leaving Cert. The module was also suited to anyone of any level. Enjoyed it a lot!” 
  • “I would recommend it to other people in STEM because it is something completely different and you’ll get to use another part of your brain.” “The choice of texts for the reading list is excellent, very nice mix of both modern and traditional classics.”.

What will I learn?

This module aims to:
  • Empower students to critically evaluate representations of travel - and the accompanying individual, cultural and societal challenges – in literary texts past and present.
  • Engage with interdisciplinary methodologies and introduce students to issues of race, ethnicity, gender, ability, class, and sexual orientation, analysing the manner in which these factors can impact on the movement of individuals.
  • Allow students to explore aspects of ethics, morality, politics, history, language, capitalism, agency, and power and relate them to specific literary representations of travel on a local and on a global level.
  • Encourage students to relate these debates to challenges within their own disciplines.

What will I do?

  • Conduct preparatory reading. We estimate that you will read approximately nine texts, as well as critical and theoretical material, across the semester. The themes and texts will change/rotate each year to facilitate staffing and to develop content.
  • Attend a face-to-face lecture each week. The team-taught nature of the module will ensure that students are exposed to a range of innovative teaching and learning methods.
  • Participate in class exercises and online discussions.
  • Contribute to group projects (research and presentations).
  • Complete writing assignments (reflective statement and essay).
  • Have a greater understanding of literary texts, different cultures and peoples, and societal challenges – all essential knowledge that will continue to serve as you walk the streets of Dublin, journey across Ireland, or travel the globe.

How will this be delivered?

  • 11x1 hour lectures: includes lectures plus discussion.
  • Approximately 46 hours of independent learning and preparation for lectures: Includes preparatory reading online and in library; listening to assigned podcasts and watching online material.
  • Approximately 30 hours of online activities: Participating in online group discussions; writing and uploading reflective statements; working on group projects; preparing in-class presentation/discussion of group projects; and creating and uploading online material arising out of group projects.
  • Approximately 38 hours of assessment preparation: Students will be required to write and submit a critical essay for assessment.

How will this be assessed?

  • Essay writing - 100% of total grade.
    • Through this independent research project, students will analyse in detail a number of texts and themes from the module, relate their discussions to broader cultural debates and societal challenges past and present, and reflect critically on the module content as a whole.
      Word count: 2000 words
  • Students will also be required to complete formative assignments.
    • These elements will not form part of the final grade but students must complete all elements of the formative assignments in order to pass the module.
  • Reflective Statement:
    • Students will be required to  write a short reflective statement on module content for the first half of the semester and upload it. Word count: 300 words
  • Group Project:
    • Students will work together in small groups, use resources in Trinity Library as well as online, create a short presentation on specific texts and themes, identify relevant images, and upload the material to Blackboard. One lecture will be devoted to students presenting/discussing aspects of the group projects.

Who can take this Trinity Elective?

  • Any student eligible to take a Trinity Elective can select this Elective except for students who are registered full-time at the School of English.

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