2013 Inquiry Seminars

Adventure, Exploration and Risk

W. Scott Olsen

We all have travel and adventure stories. Whether it's the stories of the road trip in the family car or a trip to some distant part of the planet, we all tell stories about being away from home and sometimes being at risk. We enjoy telling stories about the times we have been out of place. And we have been telling these stories for centuries.

This course examines the issues brought to light in travel and adventure narratives. From climbing Everest to sailing the oceans to flying small airplanes, we will talk about conquest, self-discovery, science, and a good bit more. How do our goals (personal, political, etc.) influence how we value what we see and experience? How do we think about the literature of travel and its relation to any kind of accuracy or truth?

Extra-curricular activities for this class often include introductory scuba and flight lessons as well as exotic foods. In addition, students enrolled in this course will have the option to participate in an exploration seminar over mid-semester break which will include hiking the West Highland Way in Scotland. WC