Shipping Out and Writing Home


Fall 2015 quarter

Taught by

maritime literature, English literature

Literary and non-fiction narratives recounting sea voyages offer a separate and confined space, a heterotopia, where cultural imagination and anxieties are projected, explored and sometimes transformed. Aboard ships, authors and readers escape bourgeois society and domestic pressures, come of age, explore communal utopian dreams, connect with wild spaces, or recreate social conflict on a small stage.

In this program we will read and view a wide variety of narratives about voyages at sea. Most of our sources will be literary: fiction, poetry, and theater, but we will consider the non-fiction narrative as well. We will study classic texts by those who have shipped out (short works by Melville and Conrad for example) and more contemporary works by regional authors. We will view film portrayals of the sea voyage and maritime work.

In week three we will expand our sense of voyaging with four days aboard a tall ship in the Salish Sea.

Students will read and write thoughtfully about what they experience and discover. We will create theatrical readings and other presentations related to the program themes. Upper-division students will be expected to complete a larger project and all students will find exceptional support and connection in their work as members of a learning community.

Program Details

Fields of Study

Preparatory for studies or careers in

literature, Pacific Northwest studies, maritime trades, Pacific Northwest history, and maritime history.

Location and Schedule

Campus location



Offered during: Day


Buy books for this program through Greener Bookstore.

Online Learning

No Required Online Learning: No access to web tools required. Any web tools provided are optional for students.

Schedule Details

Event Outside of Regular Schedule: Students will ship out on a tall ship for four days during week 2; three days of overnight field trip in NW Washington later in the quarter.  

Required Fees

$600 for an overnight field trip.


Date Revision
August 5th, 2015 Fee has been reduced (from $609 to $600).
April 29th, 2015 The description has been updated.
February 26th, 2015 Chuck Pailthorp will not be teaching in this program.

Registration Information

Credits: 16 (Fall)

Class standing: Sophomore–Senior

Maximum enrollment: 25


Course Reference Number

So - Sr (16 credits): 10191

Go to to register for this program.

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