Book cover image for: Unsettled Pasts: Reconceiving the West through Women’s History

Unsettled Pasts: Reconceiving the West through Women's History


Edited by Sarah Carter, Lesley Erickson, Patricia Roome, and Char Smith

$44.95 CAD / $44.95 USD

432 pages, 41 illustrations

6 x 9 inches

978-1-55238-177-9 (Paperback)

978-1-55238-470-1 (Institutional PDF)

December 2005

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About the Book

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. This collection aims 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.

Sarah Carter is the Henry Marshall Tory Chair Professor of History at the University of Alberta. She has written extensively in the areas of women’s, aboriginal, and Western history.

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.

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

With Contributions By:  Sarah Carter, Lesley Erickson, Patricia Roome, Graham A. Macdonald, Cora J. Voyageur, Kristin Burnett, Muriel Stanley Venne, Mary Leah De Zwart, Nadine I. Kozak, Christine Georgina Bye, Olive Stickney, Aritha van Herk, Cheryl Foggo, Florence Melchior, Siri Louie, and Elaine Leslau Silverman

Praise for Unsettled Pasts

With its postcolonial and intersectional feminist analyses of the past and its underlying commitment to social justice in the present, Unsettled Pasts is a meaningful contribution to the field of women’s history in Canada.

– Patricia Barkaskas, BC Studies

The book, with its new research, makes a valuable contribution to the literature on women, their history, and their lived experiences in western Canada.

– Wendee Kubik, Great Plains Quarterly