This seminar explores the motif of domestic and foreign travel in American literature in 20th and 21st centuries. Travel is a fundamental social and cultural practice through which Americans have constructed ideas about themselves, their society and their nation. American men and women have traveled for a variety of reasons: to explore their native land or visit foreign countries, to change their lives, to escape old life and start a new one, to seek enlightenment. Being “on the road” offers excitement, adventure, opportunity for self-enquiry and, occasionally, family bonding. During the seminar we will consider the ways travel have been represented in American literary texts, both fictional and non-fictional, as well as in selected films. We will seek answers to the following questions: Do men and women experience travel differently? What is the relationship between the self and the other in travel writing? How did generic conventions and the motivations for travel change over time? What role did race, class and gender play in these trips? How is the traveling persona constructed and represented? The main aim of the seminar is to prepare you to choose MA topic connected with the motif of travel in American literature.