Stephen Slemon, (BA Queen's, MA UBC, PhD Queensland)


Faculty of Arts - English & Film Studies Dept



Most of my scholarly career has been directed towards the study of postcolonial literatures and theory, with a special focus on global englishes and the literature of imperial management. My essays on postcolonialism and its troubles have appeared in the usual discipline-specific journals, and in collections such as Postcolonial Discourses: An Anthology (Blackwell), The Post-colonial Studies Reader (Routledge), Postcolonialism: Critical Concepts in Literary and Cultural Studies (Routledge), Contemporary Postcolonial Theory: A Reader (E. Arnold), The Oxford Handbook of Postcolonial Studies, and A Postmodern Reader (SUNY). 

In recent years I've focused increasingly on mountaineering and its representations, from colonial beginnings through to the global present. My essays on mountaineering history, co-written with Zac Robinson (Physical Education and Recreation), have appeared in the Canadian Alpine Journal, Alpinist, and The Canadian Rockies Annual. Many of these articles are posted on my personal website.

From 2005-08 I served as Founding Director of the U of A’s Canadian Literature Centre/Centre de littérature canadienne. From 2009-12 I served on the Executive Committee of the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences (CFHSS), and as Chair of the Academic Council that manages the CFHSS's Aid to Scholarly Publications Program (ASPP). In 20012-14 I was President of the Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English (ACCUTE). 


I'm working now on the ways in which mountaineering has been represented in literature, in national histories, and in film and image. The goal is to imagine what a postcolonial mountaineering future grounded in environmental sustainability, gender equity and cross-cultural mutuality might have to look like. With co-author Zac Robinson, I'm currently at work on a book that examines the history of early mountaineering in the Rockies and Columbia Mountains of Western Canada. Our SSHRC Insight Grant in support of this project runs through to 2018. 

I'm a member of a ten-person research cluster entitled "Sustaining Mountain Cultures in the Canadian West," funded through the U of A's Kule Institute of Advanced Studies (KIAS). I talk about that project hereI'm also a member of the Canadian Mountain Network: a cross-sector, multi-disciplinary research network that takes as its first principle the co-design and co-production of "knowledge," in conjunction with our mountain-community partners, including First Nations communities. This network brings natural scientists, social scientists, humanists, community participants, and government agents together to address community concerns about Canadian mountain ecosystems and cultures, and to find ways of combining academic research methods with traditional ways of knowing,