The Art of Travel

Semester and Year FALL 2014
Course Number TRAVL-UG1200
Section 001
Instructor Steve Hutkins
Days  N/A
Time  N/A
Units 2.0
Level U
Foundation Requirement  N/A

This online course provides an opportunity for students studying abroad to reflect, analytically and creatively, on their travel experiences. We examine the art created by travelers — travel literature, photography, paintings — and consider how traveling can itself be viewed as an art, with its own conventions, styles, traditions, and opportunities for innovation. All of the course activities are conducted on the class website: students blog about their responses to the readings and their own travels, post photos, and comment on each other’s posts. Enrollment is limited to students studying at one of NYU’s study abroad sites. Reading assignments are individualized for the city and country of each study-abroad site, but some readings are for the whole class: these may include selections from de Botton’s The Art of Travel, Urry’s The Tourist Gaze, MacCannell’s The Tourist, and Leed’s The Mind of the Traveler.


Enrollment is restricted to students studying abroad at an NYU site.

  • 15 blog posts, approx. 500 words each.
  • 15 comments on other students’ blogs, approx. 100 words each.
  • Read two travel narratives or books about your abroad site.

The required required readings include two travel narrative or travel essay books about the place you’re studying, plus selections from Alain deBotton’s The Art of Travel (available on this website). Take a look at the suggested readings lists (on the sidebar) to help choose your two travel books. If you want to read a book not on the list, please get approval in advance.

Schedule of Topics
September 3 1. Introductions
September 10 2. Going places
September 17 3. Wayfinding
September 24 4. Communicating
October 1 5. Quotidian life
October 8 6. Books (1)
October 15 7. Authenticity
October 22 8. The “art” of travel
October 29 9. Great good places
November 5 10. Books (2)
November 12 11. The genius loci
November 19 12. The comfort of strangers
November 26 13. Epiphanies
December 5 14. Tips
December 12 15. Farewells
  • Office: 715 Broadway, room 608
  • Phone: 998-7361
  • E-mail:
  • Course website:
  • (For an archive of previous semesters, see