life narrative Literature of the Americas stories of change
I am Associate Vice President (Research), supporting researchers and research initiatives in the humanities and social sciences, Indigenous initiatives, as well as supporting our SSHRC, CRC, CFI, JELF, Killam, Banting, Notley, and other major funding and award competitions. At the university level, I serve on committees addressing issues of equity, diversity and inclusion and research excellence. In the Faculty of Arts, I serve on the Arts Working Group on Indigenous Initiatives and am one of the co-leads of the Faculty of Arts Signature Area "Stories of Change."
My research interests include life narratives, Inter-American literature, Indigenous literatures and cultures and contemporary Latin American women writers. 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.
One of my current SSHRC-funded research projects, 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 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 it.
The International Auto/Biography Association – Americas (IABAA) presents a one-day, fully virtual conference on October 1, 2021: “Stories of Change, Stories for Change”. Co-hosted by IABAA and the Faculty of Arts Signature Area “Stories of Change” at the University of Alberta, the conference features speakers from across the Americas on auto/biographical storytelling. Leading up to and following the conference IABAA organizes several workshops for graduate students, early career scholars, and experts in the field of auto/biography studies.
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"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.