Montreal: The Imagined City Through New Eyes


Course Description

This course will look at how writers in our home town have imagined and experienced—and often embellished—Montreal over the last 10 to 15 years. The intricate relationship between familiar place, writer, and reader inspires, confounds, and engages. What does the reader experience as reconstruction or distortion? Is there a shared cultural shorthand being accessed by the writer? In this course we will explore the idea of a city as an intersection of urban reality, history, and imagination.

Reading contemporary English-language Montreal writers such as Alice Zorn, Saleema Nawaz, and Zoe Whittall, we will consider such questions as the following: How does the imagined city continue to fascinate home-grown and newly arrived writers? What changes do we see from the literature of the previous generations when we read contemporary writers? How can a place impact the cultures that grow up in its midst? How do factors such as weather, terrain, and history influence the creative mind? Whom are these authors writing for and why? Analyses will be contextualized using extracts from Montreal writers of earlier generations (e.g., Mordecai Richler, David Fennario, Brian Moore) as well as concepts from critiques and studies of urban literature.

Books to purchase (will be available at Argo Bookshop):

    • Last Night in Montreal by Emily St. John Mandel (9781101911952)
    • Bone and Bread by Saleema Nawaz (9781770890091)
    • Bottle Rocket Hearts by Zoe Whittall (9781897151068)
    • Five Roses by Alice Zorn (9781459734241)

Please note that this course has a maximum enrollment of 14 students.

Priority is given to students who pay upon registration.

For fully registered courses, a waiting list will be created. Should vacancies develop, those on the waiting list will be contacted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Course Details

First Session: Tuesday 23 March 2021

Course Length: 10 weeks, Tuesdays (starting 23 March), 1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. 

Discussion Team: Munirah Amra, Jennifer MacGregor, +1

Degree Credit: Half credit

Course Fee: 

$140.00 (standard tuition)

$95.00 (promotion for new students)

Administrative Fee:



$175.00 (standard tuition)

$130.00 (promotion for new students)


Course fees are refundable in full before the second session. After the second session, a fee of $50 for the withdrawal will be applied. Refunds will not be issued after the third session. Please note that non-attendance does not constitute a withdrawal.

Students pursuing studies for credit are encouraged to consult with their advisers as they register for courses.

Course leaders, and students wishing to use credit vouchers, should call (514) 935-9585 to pay by phone or to schedule an appointment to pay in person.

If you are a RETURNING student

If you are NEW to TMI

Questions? Stuck? Give us a call at (514) 935-9585
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