This seminar examines two key themes in modern cultural and intellectual history: the importance of travel in the lives and cultural identities of American writers and the important role of European cities in the evolution of modern American cultural identities. We shall focus on a historical era in which American writers were especially drawn to Europe as an alternative to the social and cultural life in the United States; and we’ll discuss how the encounter with Europe influenced these writers as they defined their national identities as well as their views of politics, social relations, gender identities, literature, art and European cultural traditions. The seminar explores how travel has become one of the most influential personal experiences in modern times; and we’ll conclude the course with discussions of how travel remained important for American writers at the end of the twentieth century. Our overall goal is to analyze the connection between travel, writing, and personal identities. This is a class for people who like to read about personal experiences and are intrigued by foreign travel. The assigned texts include works by women and men such as Margaret Fuller, David Dorr, Mark Twain, Henry James, Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, Henry Miller James Baldwin, Elizabeth Spencer, and David Sedaris; and we’ll focus on works that convey how writers have interpreted American experiences in European cities such as Paris, London, Rome, and Athens.