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How does travel shape our histories?

The WVU History Department, along with WVU President E. Gordon Gee, pose this question and lead the discussion. For further reading, I added a link to Cannot Stay, WVU English Professor Kevin Oderman's collection of creative non-fiction essays on the experience of being a traveler.  

Historians aim to provide us with an accurate and illuminating understanding of the past.  Through their research, which often involves travel, historians uncover fascinating new evidence and clues.  As a result of their careful investigations, our stories of the past are updated constantly. How does travel shape the questions historians ask, the way they understand themselves and their own culture, and the way they understand the people, places, ideas and time periods they study?  How does travel crack open and shed light upon the body of evidence used to shape and inform our stories of the past? 

How does travel change us?  Given the troubles, costs, and dangers, why do we travel at all? How does the migration of people, ideas, art, culture, and material goods shake things up?  How does getting out of your comfort zone, through the experience of travel, challenge and transform your way of thinking about reality?

THE QUESTION aims to raise big questions, provide educational guidance for stirring up conversation, and most importantly, to build community around the discussion of ideas. We are looking forward to hearing from YOU!   We want to hear from travelers, historians, and thoughtful people from West Virginia, and from all over the world, sharing ideas, questions and personal experiences in the blog.