Literature and the Wadden Sea

Imaginative field trip

The imaginative field trip invites students to experience the Wadden Sea area through the medium of art, for example a film or literary text. The medium is explored with a particular focus to how it lets the viewer experience the landscape. Travel writing and documentary film are particularly useful for this unit, but other media and genres may be suitable as well. The unit can be used to invite students to reflect on how they have experienced not just the artefact as a whole but the landscape that is at its heart in particular, how this experience has been shaped by the decisions, interests and experiences of the artefact’s makers, and how these relate to the place and its own integrity. They may also discuss how their experience relates to physical travel, whether virtual travel through imaginative media can stand in for physical travel (especially considering ecosystem pressures resulting from tourism that have been a concern for a long time but have intensified during the COVID-19 pandemic), or whether, conversely, virtual travel may stimulate physical travel. This unit may be particularly relevant in combination with Mediating place attachment.

Suggested secondary readings:

Duvall, John A. “Documenting the Environment” and “Ecocritical Perspectives.” The Environmental Documentary: Cinema Activism in the Twenty-First Century. New York and London: Bloomsbury, 2017. 7-23; 25-33.

Thompson, Carl. “Reporting the World.” Travel Writing. Abingdon: Routledge, 2011. 62-96. 

Suggested primary readings:

NL Deen, Mathijs. “Vooraf: Het huppeltje van mijn vader” and “Nur Sand: De stormvloeden van de twaalfde en dertiende eeuw.” De Wadden. Een Geschiedenis. Amsterdam: Rap, 2013. 9-14; 57-79.

NL Bomans, Godfried. Dagboek van Rottumerplaat: Relaas van een angstige ervaring. Amsterdam: De Boekerij, 1988.

Silence of the Tides. Directed by Pieter-Rim de Kroon, Windmill Film, 2020. 

NL (DE, EN) Het Wad. Directed by Ruben Smit, BNNVARA and Ruben Smit Productions, 2020.

NL Wolkers, Jan. Groeten van Rottumerplaat. Amsterdam: De Bezige Bij, 1991.

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