Michael

Photo VolMicheal“I was born and raised in the cultural center of the universe, Garland, TX, a suburb of Dallas. I went to college at SMU in Dallas, studying English, Spanish and Political Science. Finally, I left, and spent my junior year studying in London and traveled to France, Spain, Italy, and Greece. After graduation, I worked and traveled for a company that teaches children with dyslexia and other reading difficulties. In 1999 I moved to Bloomington, Indiana to start my Ph.D. in English. I have taken full advantage of the flexibility of graduate school and have taken a couple of leaves of absence to travel. I spent several months in Mexico in 2001, and last year I was in Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Belize for most of the year. Over the summer I led a group of 10 17 and 18 year olds around Guatemala for 6 weeks, walking in the jungle, climbing mountains, living and working with local families and hurtling along highly questionable roads in the back of highly questionable pick-up trucks. The GlobeAware experience is much more regulated to ensure against such questionable situations. Now I am back in Bloomington reading for my qualifying exams and teaching. I am teaching a reading and writing class for freshmen that I designed called "Questions of Travel: The Modern Global Tourist." We read travelers' tales, look at pop culture representations of tourists and have good conversations about travel and the encounters it makes possible. My own work is on nineteenth century travel culture and its relationship to visual culture (especially photography and early cinema). I'm particularly interested in travel narratives of Central and South America from the period. So, when I'm not traveling, I'm thinking about it.“ 

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