Trevor Herden

Fall 2016 Academic Travel Course:

COM 220T Symbolizing Scottish Folk: Nationalism, Tourism and Identification

Briefly describe your Academic Travel course - what is the concept behind the course, what did you learn about, and where did you go for the travel component?

The course focuses on the nature of Scottish identity and especially Scottish identity in its fractured and diverse depictions. Prior to travel, we watched a number of movies that depicted various ideas of Scotland and Scottishness, and used those concepts we developed on the travel in order to better understand the complicated identity of Scots and Scotland.

What surprised you during Academic Travel?

I was surprised by how how friendly and helpful people were. Perhaps I had an idea of Scots as being somewhat cold or annoyed by travelers, but every I talked to was very pleasant and easy to get along with.

What was your most memorable experience during Academic Travel?

To be honest, I don’t think I could separate out one individual moment that was the most memorable to me on the travel. From the ceilidh in Aberfeldy, to the unbelievably beautiful Isle of Skye and the modern bustle of Glasgow, the whole travel was a singularly memorable experience.

Is there a course project? If so, what is it and how is it supplemented by the travel component?

As a final project we will take a movie, concept or person to analyze using the themes and ideas discussed in the course and on the travel. Being on the travel itself really helped to cement those ideas so that the final project is not simply a product of the Scotland that we have seen in a few movies and in-class discussions, but based upon a version that we were also able to experience in person.

What was your favorite learning moment during Academic Travel?

I wouldn’t say I had a favorite moment, but rather that I learned huge amounts from Iain, our guide on the travel. Iain is a native Scot and seeing how he experienced the various places that we visited and told their stories really helped me to understand in a very real sense at least one version of Scottish identity.