Skip to main content will be down for scheduled maintenance today between 10:00 p.m. and 12:00 a.m. ET
This program is over. Hope you didn't miss it!

The Great American Road Trip

Evening Program

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Wednesday, July 8, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET
Code: 1J0048
This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.
Select your Tickets
Gen. Admission
Powered by Zoom


  • This program is part of our Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.
  • Platform: Zoom
  • Online registration is required.
  • For multiple registrations, you will be asked to supply individual names and email addresses.

Perhaps no genre of book is so typically American than the travel narrative. From chronicles of the settlement of the West to the modern cross-country road trip, travel narratives have infused American history and popular culture. Many of these stories are written from the perspective of travelers who found themselves to be outsiders along the way. From Mark Twain’s Life on the Mississippi to John Steinbeck's Travels With Charlie to Jack Kerouac’s On The Road, in most of these stories the protagonist is positioned as an explorer in a new and unfamiliar  landscape (whether that be Jim Crow-era Alabama or the American West) on a journey of self-discovery to encounter the “real” America. What is so compelling about travel stories? What can they teach us about American history, culture, and society? 

Just in time for the summer road trip season, join Allen Pietrobon, an assistant professor of global Affairs at Trinity Washington University and an award-winning historian, for a literary journey that explores the nature and impact of American travel stories.

Patron Information

  • Once registered, patrons will receive two emails: one is an automatic email confirmation and the second will include a link to the Zoom webinar as a follow-up (usually given within 24 hours of registration).
  • NOTE: If you do not receive your follow-up email from Zoom, please email Customer Service for assistance.