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Social Science Women's Studies

Unsettled Pasts

Reconceiving the West through Women's History

contributions by Sarah Carter, Kristin Burnett, Christine Georgina Bye, Mary Leah De Zwart, Lesley A. Erickson, Cheryl Foggo, Nadine I. Kozak, Siri Louie, Graham A. MacDonald, Florence Melchior, Patricia A. Roome, Eliane Leslau Silverman, Olive Stickney, Aritha van Herk, Muriel Stanley Venne & Cora J. Voyageur

edited by Lesley Erickson, Patricia Roome & Char Smith

University of Calgary Press
Initial publish date
Dec 2005
Women's Studies
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The traditional mythology of the West is dominated by male images: the fur trader, the Mountie, the missionary, the miner, the cowboy, the politician, the Chief. Unsettled Pasts: Reconceiving the West claims to re-examine the West through women's eyes. It draws together contributions from researchers, scholars, and academic and community activists, and seeks to create dialogue across geographic, cultural, and disciplinary boundaries. Ranging from scholarly essays to poetry, these pieces offer the reader a sample of some of today's most innovative approaches to western Canadian women's history; several of the themes that run throughout the volume have only recently been critically addressed. By rewriting the West from the perspective of women, the contributors complicate traditional narratives of the region's past by contesting historical generalizations, thus transcending the myths and "frontier" legacies that emerged out of imperial and masculine priorities and perspectives.

With Contributions by:

Kristin Burnett Cristine Georgina Bye Sarah Carter Mary Leah De Zwart Lesley A. Erickson Cheryl Foggo Nadine I. Kozak Siri Louie Graham A. Macdonald Florence Melchior Patricia A. Roome Eliane Leslau Silverman Olive Stickney Aritha Van Herk Muriel Stanley Venne Cora J. Voyageur

About the authors

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

Lesley Erickson holds a doctorate in history from the University of Calgary. Her research interests include women’s and gender history, western Canadian history, and the history of crime and punishment.

Lesley Erickson's profile page

Patricia Roome is a member of the Humanities Department at Mount Royal University, where she teaches history and women's studies.

Patricia Roome's profile page

Char Smith's profile page

Kristin Burnett's profile page

Christine Georgina Bye's profile page

Mary Leah De Zwart's profile page

Lesley A. Erickson's profile page

Cheryl Foggo is a journalist, screenwriter, poet, and playwright. She has a particular interest in the history of Black pioneers on the prairies and has written extensively on that subject in books, magazines, and anthologies. She lives in Calgary.

Cheryl Foggo's profile page

Nadine I. Kozak's profile page

Siri Louie's profile page

Graham MacDonald has worked as a historian, teacher, librarian, and park planner. He is the author of A Good Solid Comfortable Establishment: An Illustrated History of Lower Fort Garry, and Where the Mountains Meet the Prairies: A History of Waterton Country (University of Calgary Press).

Graham A. MacDonald's profile page

Florence Melchior's profile page

Patricia A. Roome's profile page

Eliane Leslau Silverman's profile page

Olive Stickney's profile page

Aritha van Herk teaches Creative Writing, Canadian Literature and Contemporary Narrative. Her novels include Judith, The Tent Peg, No Fixed Address (nominated for the Governor General's Award for fiction), Places Far From Ellesmere (a geografictione) and Restlessness. Her critical works, A Frozen Tongue (ficto-criticism) and In Visible Ink (crypto-frictions) stretch the boundaries of the essay and interrogate questions of reading and writing as aspects of narrative subversion. With Mavericks: an Incorrigible History of Alberta (winner of the Grant MacEwan Author's Award) van Herk ventured into new territory, transforming history into a narratological spectacle. That book frames the new permanent exhibition that opened at the Glenbow Museum in 2007. van Herk is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and is active in Canada's literary and cultural life, writing articles and reviews as well as creative work. She has served on many juries, including the Governor General's Award and the Commonwealth Writers' Prize. She is well known in the broader community of the city, the province, and the country as a writer and a public intellectual.

Aritha van Herk's profile page

Muriel Stanley Venne's profile page

Dr. Cora J. Voyageur is a full professor in the sociology department at the University of Calgary, where she has taught for more than 20 years. Her research interests explore the Indigenous experience in Canada, including leadership, community and economic development, women’s issues, and health. She is a Residential School Survivor and a member of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation from northern Alberta.

Cora J. Voyageur's profile page

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