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Social Science Popular Culture

Challenging Frontiers

The Canadian West

edited by Lorry Felske & Beverly J. Rasporich

contributions by van Herk Aritha, R. Douglas Francis, Ann Davis, Sarah Carter, Janice Dickin, Lorry W. Felske, Emma Larocque, Robert Seiler, Tamara Seiler, Brian Rusted, Geoffrey Simmins, Michael McMordie, Madeline A. Kalbach, Lloyd Sciban, David Taras, Max Foran, Marcia Jenneth Epstein & Beverly Raporich

University of Calgary Press
Initial publish date
Feb 2005
Popular Culture
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The frontier reality of confronting new conditions, adapting cultural inclinations, and dealing with a volatile environment in an effort to establish and nurture new communities is central to the western Canadian experience. It has shaped many aspects of our heritage, and it is within that context the essays assembled here strive to identify and critique the impact of the frontier on our region, culture, and society.

Challenging Frontiers: The Canadian West is a multidisciplinary study using critical essays as well as creative writing to explore the conceptions of the "West," both past and present. Considering topics such as ranching, immigration, art and architecture, as well as globalization and the spread of technology, these articles inform the reader of the historical frontier and its mythology, while also challenging and reassessing conventional analysis.

With a comprehensive introduction to situate the geographic and cultural boundaries of the western frontier, this collection is a must for anyone interested in uncovering what it means to be a westerner and how the new frontier has influenced every part of our society.

With Contributions By: Sarah Carter Ann Davis Janice Dickin Marcia Jenneth Epstein Lorry W. Felske Max Foran R. Douglas Francis Madeline A. Kalbach Emma LaRocque Michael McMordie Beverly Raporich Brian Rusted Lloyd Sciban Robert Seiler Tamara Seiler Geoffrey Simmins David Taras Aritha van Herk

About the authors

Lorry Felske is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication and Culture at the University of Calgary. He has written numerous articles and acts as an historical consultant to many different groups and societies.

Lorry Felske's profile page

van Herk Aritha's profile page

R. Douglas Francis is a professor of history at the University of Calgary. He has published extensively in the areas of Canadian and western Canadian intellectual and cultural history.

R. Douglas Francis' profile page

Beverly Rasporich has written many articles on Canadian arts and culture, Native art and literature, Canadian humour, ethnicity, and multiculturalism. She is author of Dance of the Sexes: Art and Gender in the Fiction of Alice Munro, the CD-ROM Western Place/Women's Space, and Magic off Main: The Art of Esther Warkov (University of Calgary Press).

Beverly J. Rasporich's profile page

Anne Davies, PhD, has worked in most Canadian provinces, in American states, and overseas. She works with educators at every level—primary to post-secondary, as well as with parents. Anne is involved with schools and jurisdictions in multi-year projects, working closely with local educators. This allows her to help people find assessment-for-learning solutions that work in a specific context. Anne does sessions at home in the Comox Valley, and works with educators in various locations to provide workshops to meet local needs. She also works with professional development and instructional leaders. Anne has written and produced numerous multimedia resources and books, including Making Classroom Assessment Work and co-authoring the Knowing What Counts series. Her newest project is a multimedia resource titled The Facilitator's Guide to Classroom Assessment (K–12).

Ann Davis' profile page

Sarah Carter, F.R.S.C., is H.M. Tory Chair and Professor in the Department of History and Classics, and Faculty of Native Studies at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. She is a specialist in the history of Western Canada and is the author of Aboriginal People and Colonizers of Western Canada to 1900, Capturing Women, and Lost Harvests. Sarah Carter was awarded the Jensen-Miller Prize by the Coalition for Women's History for the best article published in 2006 in the field of women and gender in the trans-Mississippi West.

Sarah Carter's profile page

Max Foran has been working the field of western Canadian history for over thirty years and has published on various urban, rural, and cultural topics. He is currently a professor in the Department of Communication and Culture at the University of Calgary.

Janice Dickin's profile page

Lorry W. Felske's profile page

Dr. Emma LaRocque is a scholar, author, poet, social and literary critic, and a professor in the Department of Native Studies, University of Manitoba. She is the author of the groundbreaking book, Defeathering the Indian, and has also written extensively on contemporary Aboriginal literatures, Canadian historiography, and images of Aboriginal people in the media marketplace. She is a Plains Cree Metis from northeastern Alberta.

Emma Larocque's profile page

Robert Seiler's profile page

Tamara Palmer Seiler is an interdisciplinary scholar who teaches Canadian Studies at the University of Calgary. She has written widely on the impact of immigration and ethnic diversity on Canadian culture and, in particular, on Canadian literature. She has co-authored two books on the history of Alberta.

Tamara Seiler's profile page

Brian Rusted's profile page

Geoffrey Simmins is Associate Dean, Research and Planning, at the University of Calgary's Faculty of Arts. He is also adjunct professor of Architecture in the Faculty of Environmental Design. His publications include both contemporary and historical books, exhibition catalogues, numerous encyclopedia articles, and videos on Canadian art and architectural history.

Geoffrey Simmins' profile page

Michael McMordie is a Professor Emeritus of the Faculty of Environmental Design at the University of Calgary and former Director of the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program. He has written numerous articles on architecture and environmental design.

Michael McMordie's profile page

Madeline A. Kalbach's profile page

Lloyd Sciban's profile page

David Taras holds the Ralph Klein Chair in Media Studies at Mount Royal University. He is the author of several books, including The Newsmakers: The Media's Influence on Canadian Politics (1990) and Power and Betrayal in the Canadian Media (2001), and co-author of Last Word: Media Coverage of the Supreme Court of Canada (2005).

David Taras' profile page

Max Foran is the author of a dozen books, including The Chalk and the Easel: Stanford Perrott, Teacher?Painter; Trails and Trials: Markets and Land Use in the Canadian Cattle Industry; Roland Gissing: the People's Painter; and Calgary: Canada's Frontier Metropolis. He is a professor in the University of Calgary's faculty of Communications and Culture.

Max Foran's profile page

Marcia Jenneth Epstein is a musicologist and historian at the University of Calgary.

Marcia Jenneth Epstein's profile page

Beverly Raporich's profile page

Editorial Reviews


Challenging Frontiers lives up to its title in challenging the monochromatic definition of “frontier? that has played across most of western North American "frontier theory."

—Francis W. Kaye, Canadian Ethnic Studies


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One West, Two Myths II

Essays on Comparison

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The Prairie West: Historical Readings

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