Shipping Out and Writing Home


Fall 2015 quarter

Taught by

maritime literature, English literature

In the maritime Pacific Northwest, we find ourselves in a place defined by its weather, its rhythms of light and dark, its tides, its dramatic geography. Living here, we come to know this place for its gorgeous vistas, its gentle, characteristic sounds and smells, and its cataclysmic threats of earthquakes, eruptions, landslides, fires, floods, and storms. All living here sense and know that this place wouldn’t be as it is if a vast ocean were not lying to the west. In this program, we will explore our sense of place in the maritime Pacific Northwest and the deep and complex ways our sense of place includes and depends on the sea, whether the inland waters of Puget Sound, the inside passage to Alaska or the larger oceans that connect us to global history and commerce.

We will begin with four days aboard a tall ship in the Salish Sea, an introduction to our maritime environment and to one another. Most of our sources will be literary: poetic and narrative, fictional and factual, imaginative and thoughtful. We will study classic texts by those who have shipped out (short works by Melville for example) and more contemporary works by regional authors. We will explore visual representations (both static and moving) of the sea and shore, and musical depictions of the sea and maritime work. Students will read and write thoughtfully about what they experience and discover. We will create theatrical readings, musical performances or 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, philosophy (of language and the arts), Pacific Northwest studies, maritime trades, Pacific Northwest history, and maritime history.

Location and Schedule

Campus location



Offered during: Day


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Online Learning

No Required Online Learning

More information about online learning.

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

$609 for an overnight field trip.


Date Revision
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 Numbers

So (16 credits): 10189
Jr (16 credits): 10190
Sr (16 credits): 10191

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