English 377 X Travel Writing

Dr. Chidsey Dickson

Guanajuato, Mexico Summer 2007


This course explores three genre that professional writers have used (and students will use) to write about Mexico. Students will also read and discuss different narrative strategies used by Mexican fiction writers.


Course Objectives.


  • Reflect on and articulate the differences between, and particular vantages points provided by, several modes of writing about Mexico: travel writing (journalism), ethnography (cultural studies) and fiction (story-telling).


  • Successfully deploy the three genre in students’ own writing.


  • Research publication venues relevant to the topics/concerns of students’ writing


  • Revise students’ best work for submission to a (print or online) publication



Course Work


  • (3) Essays that describe each of the genre’s conventions and compare/contrast the “vantage points” created by the different genre
  • Three major writing projects
  • One major revision (for publication)






Behar, Ruth. Translated Woman: Crossing the Border with Esperanza's Story Boston: Beacon Press, 1994.

Cisneros, Sandra. Caramelo. Vintage Books, 2003.

Fuentes , Carlos The Death of Artemio Cruz Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1991

Franz, Carl. The People’s Guide to Mexico. Avalon Travel Publishing, 2002.

Ibargüengoitia , Jorge. Two Crimes. Harper Mass Market Paperbacks, 1985

Course Packet (readings on the genre of travel writing*, methods of teaching travel writing to kids**, ethnography, and Latin American Fiction).


*Including Sir John Mandeville, Christopher Columbus, Hernan Cortez and Captain John Smith, Hans Staden

** Groom, Eileen. Ed. Methods for Teaching Travel Literature Lang, 2005.




A Compact History of Mexico (El Colegio de México, 1995).