What is The Vertical?

The Vertical is an online travel magazine that publishes vertical travel writing. We often think of travel in a horizontal sense, venturing out into the world to some “other” place to discover the self. The Vertical seeks writing that makes an ethical attempt to represent the history and culture of a place and its people, turning the lens outward—to one’s backyard, city, or place of exploration—even as it turns the lens inward, back on the traveler, back in time and the traveler’s locatedness, tracking the way movements of attention, as they intersect with place and identity, figure or refigure the travel story.

The Vertical publishes writing by students in Geneseo’s Travel Writing course along with essays by former Study Abroad students that have been developed in an editorial process led by students in the Travel Writing course, designed and taught by Dr. Jess Fenn. The Vertical is the result of a collaboration between Geneseo’s English Department and the Office of Study Abroad. Special thanks to former English Department chair Dr. Robert Doggett, to the Director of the Center for Digital Learning, Dr. Paul Schacht, and to the CDL’s Digital Humanities and Learning Coordinator Amanda Wentworth, along with Director of Educational Technology Laurie Fox and Informational Design Technologist Becky Patt, for their essential roles in conceiving of and implementing the project. Jamie Henshaw ’21 deserves vast appreciation for the initial design and implementation of the site. The Vertical owes its existence to the vision and leadership of Dr. Becky Lewis (now retired), who foresaw the potential in a collaboration between Geneseo’s English Department and the Office of Study Abroad, as well as the value in creating formal opportunities for Study Abroad students to reflect on their experiences upon return. The project has come into being, as well, through the dedication and support of the Director of Study Abroad Samuel Cardamone and Associate Director of Study Abroad Emily McCrossen, as well as Lecturer and Fellow in International Programs Weston Kennison. Special thanks, also, to the Associate Provost for Academic Success, Dr. Joseph Cope. Most of all, thanks to the student authors and editors who worked collaboratively to bring these narratives to life and share a part of their personal and academic journey with the public.

All content in The Vertical is protected under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs license.

This online travel magazine is produced and maintained by Dr. Jess Fenn, Lecturer in SUNY Geneseo’s English Department and Faculty Fellow in International Programs, along with her students. The Travel Writing class associated with the magazine began as an experimental creative nonfiction course in the fall of 2018; since then, Jess’s hard work, determination, and incredible insight and support have made the course a regular offering in Geneseo’s catalog of listings. 

On May 7th, 2021, we celebrate the launch of this magazine in recognition of Dr. Fenn’s hard work, time, and ceaseless efforts, which have empowered her students:
    To grow as creative writers
    To thrive as thoughtful rewriters
    To evaluate as critical editors
    And to create for you here the public-facing manifestations of the amazing scholarship and creative works developed by Geneseo students.

Dr. Fenn has succeeded in helping so many writers find their voices. Today, those voices have a truly safe space to exist in and to express themselves to the world.

Thank you, Dr. Fenn

  • Travel Writing Class, Spring 2021