Literary Geographies

The course uses both literary arts and social geography, storytelling and creative mapping, to explore both fictional and real places. From Sherlock Holmes’s 221B Baker St. London to J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth, geography is more than an artistic theme, and maps are more than creative illustrations. We will read literature that uses spatial dimensions not only to indicate a destination and point of origin, but to create place–spectacular stories from the Iowa plains to rust belt cities to the networked future. We will also navigate a specific geographical space, telling numerous narrative stories about its pavement and is inhabitants. Through community-based research, students will explore a Rochester community, story-mapping its complex histories, social networks, and contemporary environments. Using literary geography, students will integrate their writing into a final mosaic project–a collaborative digital “community map.”

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