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COM2140 - On the road: travel and representation

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader(s): Robin Gerster


Berwick Second semester 2009 (Day)
Caulfield Second semester 2009 (Day)
Clayton Second semester 2009 (Day)


Cultural practices of travel and the ways these are represented in travel writing and related modes of communication form one of the most compelling fields of contemporary critical inquiry. This unit is designed to place this contemporary engagement within an historical, theoretical and practical perspective. It examines travel practices, attitudes and ideologies in a range of texts, including the popular travel book and the tourist guidebook, fiction, film and journalism. Its scope ranges from ancient pilgrimages through imaginary voyages, utopian fantasies, New World traveller's tales and the imperial quest, to the diverse branches of tourism today, including sex tourism and cyber travel.


On successful completion of this unit students will have:

  1. a critical sense of the development of the broad field of travel and representation, with knowledge of the diversity of modes and discourses it encompasses
  2. knowledge of the relationship between travel and ideology, especially in specific historical, political and gendered contexts
  3. an informed understanding of contemporary critical and theoretical approaches to travel
  4. critical perspectives on the production and consumption of travel writing and film
  5. a clear historical sense of the changing practices of travel and tourism.

Students enrolled at a third-year level will be expected to demonstrate a greater mastery of all of the above than those enrolled at a second-year level.


Long essay (2000 words) :40%
Short essay (1000 Words) :20%
Examination (2 hours): 30%
Tutorial participation: 10%

Contact hours

One 1-hour lecture and one 1-hour tutorial per week


First-year sequence in Communications or other first year sequence as approved by the co-ordinator



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