Literature and Tourism: A Quest for Alternate Worlds 


Course Description

What do reading and travel have in common? How has the figure of the tourist been represented in literature and popular culture? In what ways have tourism and literature been influenced by each other? This course will consider these questions by examining literary works that engage with tourism from the late 19th century to the present. 

Through discussions of works ranging from E. M. Forster’s A Room with a View (1908) to Yun Ko-eun’s The Disaster Tourist (2013) and Thomas King’s Indians on Vacation (2020), we will explore the complexities of tourism and the ways in which literature has endorsed, critiqued, and participated in the tourist industry over the last 100 years. 

Above all, we will ask what we can gain from thinking about literature and tourism together. Like tourism, reading literature requires leisure time and can lead to a new understanding of the world and the self; in the words of literary critic Jahan Ramazani, reading and travel both involve “a quest for alternate worlds.” At the same time, literature, like tourism, can be voyeuristic and appropriative and reinforce existing biases or harmful stereotypes. In thinking about these parallels, we will consider what it means to be a conscientious reader, writer, and traveller in an age of globalization and unprecedented mobility.

Books to Purchase (will be available at Argo Bookshop during the weeks prior to the course beginning):

  • A Room with a View by E.M. Forster
  • Indians on Vacation by Thomas King
  • The Disaster Tourist by Yun Ko-eun

Please note that this course has a maximum enrollment of 16 students and that TMI does not allow participants to audit courses for free.

Course Details

Location: Pointe-Claire

First Session: Monday, January 15th, 2024

Course Length: 12 weeks, Mondays, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Discussion Team: Mary Allen, Imogen Brian, Jennifer MacGregor

Degree Credit: 3.0 credits

Course Fee: 

$150.00 (standard tuition)

$100.00 (promotion for new students)

Administrative Fee:



$185.00 (standard tuition)

$135.00 (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.

Fill the following form to register

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