The English department offers an annual Place Studies course during the Spring semester. Since 2013, Brian Lutz and Michael Stamps have been introducing students to the theory and practice of Place Studies and accompanying their classes on Spring Recess tours of such places as Ireland (2013), England and Wales (2014), France (2015), Italy (2016), and Spain (2017). The course is open to students of all majors; it may be substituted for EN-2028, Introduction to Literature and may qualify for experiential learning credit.

As with any other three-credit lecture/discussion course offered by the English department at DelVal, Place Studies typically involves weekly reading assignments of poetry, drama, short fiction, novels, films, etc., as well as supplemental material related to historical contexts and theoretical approaches, in addition to a variety of minor and major writing assignments. Such course materials are selected with the purpose of familiarizing students with the people and places associated with each stop on our itinerary. “So it is in traveling,” Samuel Johnson told his friend and travel-companion, James Boswell, “a man must carry knowledge with him, if he would bring home knowledge.”

As an inter-disciplinary course that links the study of literature to human geography and all of the various cultural signatures inscribed upon a given location—whether in history, art, literature, film, food, architecture, politics, sociology, language, race, gender, sexuality, or class—course materials will also include movies, maps, and music—especially as it relates to the people and culture of a place, and their popular representation in other media.

Plans are underway for the Spring 2018 course, which will focus on Ireland. Check out our FAQ page.