UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

An ecocritical approach to tourism in the writings of Kathleen Jamie Smith, Corey


Kathleen Jamie is a Scottish author whose work often details her travels through both the “natural and unnatural world” (Findings 1). Previous criticism has examined her work in the context of nature writing and Jamie has suggested that she writes “‘toward' the natural world” (“Author Statement”). Jamie also frequently represents herself as a tourist, travelling ‘toward’ different regions of the globe. I argue that Jamie’s writings as a tourist and as a naturalist are inextricably intertwined. The fusion of these two positions results in an approach that is self- reflexive and constantly reconsidering the limits of the human body in its connectedness to the world. Primarily, I examine the intersections between ecocriticism and tourism through an exploration of Jamie’s writings. I employ tourism theory, incorporating discourses of desire, imagination, and authentic connection, alongside ecological approaches that assess corporeal limits in the context of the natural world, and I do so to explore how the categorization of nature and culture affects our perceptions of other-than-human-world and the histories we write about it. I argue that her poetry and non-fiction map an ecocritical tourism that understands the complex dynamics of humanity’s failure to separate “the natural and unnatural world” as foundational to theories of ecotourism. This fusion of ecology and tourism maps an ecocritical form of tourism that reassesses the boundaries of culture and nature and, in doing so, emphasizes engagement, inquiry, and histories of shared vulnerability.

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