Applying Geocritical Theory to the Study Abroad Learning Experience
Keywords:Geocritical theory, Study abroad, Literature Texts, Education abroad
In the face of the almost four-fold increase in study abroad participation over the past seven years, it is imperative to ask some pressing questions regarding how to optimize the study abroad experience, ensuring that students move beyond a superficially touristic mode of uninformed impressionistic response to their host locale into a more sophisticated engagement with its complex social, political, historical, and cultural particularities. In this spirit, this article presents an essay, which will use geocritical theory to inquire into the pedagogical uses and larger social functioning of texts that represent the places to which study abroad students flock in search of knowledge and experience. In doing so, it will ask what are some of the ways texts and the places they represent relate to each other, how do texts set up horizons of expectations regarding places to be encountered, and, as a function of these, how might these texts best be put to use in a study abroad educational context?
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