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Since 2013, Delaware Valley University professors Brian Lutz and Michael Stamps of the English Department have been introducing their students to the theory and practice of Place Studies in the classroom and accompanying them on tours across the world during Spring Recess.

As a Literary Studies course, English 4030: Place Studies introduces students to significant works of literature, history, and culture particular to a Place in order to prepare students for the experience of meeting the people and places described in novels, poems, historical documents, art, and film.

Such course materials are selected with the purpose of familiarizing students with the people and places associated with each stop on our itinerary. “So it is in traveling,” Samuel Johnson told his friend and travel-companion, James Boswell, “a man must carry knowledge with him, if he would bring home knowledge.” Students keep journals, write major and minor essays, and give presentations—before, during, and after the trip—in an effort to assess and appreciate literary, theoretical, and personal experiences of the Place.

The course is open to all students and all majors. Moreover, it may be substituted for EN-2028, Introduction to Literature, as well as qualify for experiential learning E360 credit. Previous courses and trips have given DelVal students the opportunity to study and visit such places as:

  • Ireland (2013)
  • England and Wales (2014)
  • France (2015)
  • Italy (2016)
  • Spain (2017)
  • Ireland and Northern Ireland (2018)
  • Japan (2019)
  • South Africa (2020)


South Africa (March 4–15, 2020). Click here for itinerary.



Contact Michael Stamps or Brian Lutz with any questions about the upcoming course and trip.


Paris, France / 2015
“Wherever you go for the rest of your life it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast” – Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

“The use of travelling is to regulate imagination by reality, and instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are.”

Samuel Johnson, “Letter to Hester Thrale,” September 21, 1773


Barcelona, Spain / 2017
Wendy Peterson basking in the light of the Sagrada Família

“What begins as undifferentiated space becomes place as we get to know it better and endow it with value. […] Furthermore, if we think of space as that which allows movement, then place is pause; each pause in movement makes it possible for location to be transformed into place.”

Yi-Fu Tuan, Space and Place: The Perspective of Experience, 1977

Kamakura, Japan / 2019
Kristy Poisson posing under torii gates

Mt. Fuji, Japan / 2019
“We are mortals and also gods, / Innocent companions of thine, /O eternal Fuji!”
–Yone Noguchi, “Spirits of Fuji Mountain”

Miyajima, Japan / 2019
Gina Lutz, Melanie Johnson, and Kristy Poisson in front of the Itsukushima Shrine

Stonehenge, England / 2014
Kayla Davies basking in sunlight and history at Stonehenge

Zaragoza, Spain / 2017
Seth Tobin enjoying the view in front of Basilica Nuestra Señora del Pilar

Zaragoza, Spain / 2017
“Thou hast seen nothing yet.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote