Laura Beard, PhD, MA, BA

Associate Vice President, Vice-President Research Innovation

Pronouns: she her hers;

Contact

Associate Vice President, Vice-President Research Innovation
Email
lbeard@ualberta.ca
Phone
(780) 492-5320
Address
2-51 South Academic Building
11328 - 89 Ave NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 2J7

Overview

Area of Study / Keywords

life narrative Literature of the Americas stories of change


About

I am a Professor in the Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies in the Faculty of Arts. I work in the areas of life narrative in the Americas.

  • PhD, Hispanic Studies, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  • M.A., Hispanic Studies, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  • B.A., English, Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota, USA



Research

My research interests include life narratives, Inter-American literature, Indigenous literatures and cultures and related topics. I serve on the steering committee for the International Autobiography Association Chapter of the Americas and am a consulting editor for the journal a/b Autobiography Studies

A current SSHRC-funded research project, entitled "Wanted: A Life Narrative in Deadwood," takes up the 1939 memoir "Pioneer Days in the Black Hills: Accurate History and Facts Related by One of the Early Day Pioneers " by John S. McClintock in order to explore how how life narrative and current heritage tourism are media through which we continually play with the past, reconfigure it, and try to make meanings out of the traces we chose to pick up from that past.



Teaching

 I am on research leave in the 2023-2024 year.

Announcements

Check out the new book The Divided States: Unraveling National Identities in the Twenty-First Century, Edited by Laura J. Beard and Ricia Anne Chansky. (University of Wisconsin Press, 2023).

https://uwpress.wisc.edu/books/5898.htm


Scholarly Activities

Research - Wanted: A Life Narrative in Deadwood

20190601 to 20220531

"Wanted: A Life Narrative in Deadwood (SSHRC Insight Grant 2019-2022) examines the “persistent power of nostalgia” (Hirsch and Miller 5) and the affective will to know that drives so much genealogy research, life narrative, and cultural heritage tourism through the specific example of a life narrative from my own family tree, John S. McClintock’s Pioneer Days in the Black Hills: Accurate History and Facts Related by One of the Early Day Pioneers (1939; University of Oklahoma Press, 2000). Research into McClintock’s memoir, its influence on the written and popular history of Deadwood and the Black Hills, and the traces of that history in present day cultural heritage tourism in Deadwood (specifically the Days of 76 events) allow me to explore how both individual acts of memory and collective acts of memory participate in the construction of national narratives on contested lands.

Featured Publications

Laura J. Beard and Ricia Anne Chansky, co-editors

2023 January;


Beard, Laura J.

Life Writing. 2021 October; 18 (4):485-496


Beard, Laura J.

Life Writing. 2019 January; 16 (4):539-551


““This story needs a witness”: The Imbrication of Witnessing, Storytelling, and Resilience in Lee Maracle’s Celia’s Song"

Beard, Laura J.

Studies in American Indian Literature. 2018 September; 30 (3-4):151-178


Laura J. Beard

Pedagogy. 2011 January; 11 (1):109-134


Laura J. Beard

2009 January;


Laura J. Beard