Critical and Reflective Inquiry: Journeys



Course Number




Course Description

In this section we will explore the different kinds of journeys Americans have been taking over the centuries, and how they make sense of those life travels, through texts, films and through class discussion.  In addition, we will embark on an intellectual journey, which will include developing and honing the skills, tools and knowledge to be a strong student and a productive, responsible member of the larger community.  For each class member, this part of the journey will include identifying and analyzing one’s voice and the privileges and burdens built into that voice, identifying and analyzing others’ voices and building respect for those diverse perspectives, and to critically assess all forms of information (oral, written and visual). To help us we will be reading articles and book chapters including (but not limited to) “On Going Home,” by Deborah McDowell, “Treaty Time, 1855,” by Harriette Shelton Dover, “Equiano’s Travels,” by Olaudah Equiano,” OutWest, by Dayton Duncan, and “Drug Tourism or Spiritual Healing? Ayahuasca Seekers in Amazonia,” by Michael Winkelman.

The main skill emphasized in this class will be writing.  During the quarter you will sharpen and hone your writing skills.  You will learn to construct an argument, gather evidence, shape your thesis to fit the audience, and organize your thoughts.  In addition, you will also learn to seminar, and critically analyze materials.  Finally, you will learn to research and write a 6-8 page research paper with a minimum of 4 sources, proper citations and a bibliography. This course is “graded” with a narrative evaluation.   


Admission to FAIR.

Materials Fee


Required Texts

Required Reading

Readings on Canvas and on-line through library database


Regular attendance. 2 absences will reflect negatively on your evaluation.  3 absences and you will not receive credit for the class.  If there is a personal/family difficulty, please let me know as soon as possible.

Active participation in class and small group discussions. If you are uncomfortable with speaking in front of people, please see me as soon as possible.

Peer editing of writing plan.

Paper requirements:

One autobiographical educational journey paper (2-3 pages, double-spaced).

One reflection paper (2 pages, double-spaced) + proper citation.

One research paper topic (1 page, double-spaced).

One Draft of ½ of the Research paper (rough draft 3-4 pages) Double-spaced + proper citation.

One Draft of full Research paper (rough draft 6-8 pages) Double-spaced + proper citation.

Final version of research paper (6-8 pages, double-spaced) + proper citations.

Writing plan


Fall 2023

Course Instructor(s)

Midori Takagi

Course Subject