2010 Program

Under Western Skies: Climate, Culture and Change in Western North America

Mount Royal University

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

October 13 16, 2010


Conference Program

Wednesday, October 13

9:30 – 12:00:  Registration—Roderick Mah Centre for Continuous Learning

12:00 – 1:00:  Commencement – Roderick Mah, Ross Glen Hall

Welcome: Convener Robert Boschman

Mount Royal University President, Dr. David Marshall

Mount Royal University Provost and Vice President Academic, Dr. Robin Fisher

Local Elders’ Traditional Greeting

Treaty 7 Cultural Performance

1:00 – 1:30:  Coffee

1:30 – 3:00:  Parallel Sessions (1 through 6)

1.  The Toxic and The Ugly (EC1060)

Chair:  Conny Davidsen, University of Calgary

Richard Kover, Philosophy, K.U. Leuven, “Are the Oil Sands Sublime?: Edward Burtynsky’s Challenge to Environmental Aesthetics”

Matt Slykhuis, English, University of Northern British Columbia, “Soil Vampires, Mutated Monsters and Radioactive Poo: The Dance of Life and Decay in Rita Wong’s Forage

Sarah Jaquette Ray, English and Geography & Environmental Studies, University of Alaska Southeast, “The Poetics of Trash: Immigrants in the Wilderness of Arizona-Mexico Borderland” (participating via video conference)

2.  The Prairie: Then and Now (EC2065)

Chair: Sabrina Reed, Mount Royal University

George Colpitts, History, University of Calgary, “Changing Climates, Human Compromises: the Case of the Neutral Hills and Mild Winters in Alberta’s Fur Trade Era: 1832-34”

Franca Bellarsi, Langues et Littératures germaniques et modernes, Université Libre de Bruxelles, “Undoing the ‘Silence’ of the Canadian Prairie: A European Perspective”

Joanna Dawson, English, University of Victoria, “Prairie Hauntologies: Land, Ghosts, and Contact in Jacqueline Baker’s The Horseman’s Graves

3. Dispatches From the Field (EC1050)

Chair: Joe Anderson, Mount Royal University

Jennifer Medlock, Alberta Climate Dialogue, University of Alberta, “Disparate Definitions, Disparate Solutions: Incorporating Theories of Social Change into Climate Governance in Alberta”

Sue Ellen Campbell, English, Colorado State University, “Everybody’s Problem: Climate Change Across Campus—and Across Disciplinary Language Barriers”

Nigel Douglas, Conservation Biologist, Alberta Wilderness Association, “Wolverines, Rock Rabbits and Butterflies: Alberta’s Prophets of Climate Change”

4. Spirituality, Theology, Environment (EC2010)

Chair: Randy Schroeder, Mount Royal University

Anne White, Religious Studies, University of Calgary, “Environmental Activism and the Construction of Spiritual Realms of Meaning”

Jeffery Donaldson, English and Cultural Studies, McMaster University, “Nature, the Wrathful God, or Northrop Frye’s Axis Mundi Re-oriented”

Randolph Haluza-DeLay (Sociology) and Michael Ferber (Geography), King’s University College, “Homo Alberticus + Homo Energeticus: Religious Contestations and Petrocapitalism in Alberta”

5. Class, Income, and Ableism (EC2075)

Chair: Timothy J. Haney, Mount Royal University

Emily Jane Davis, Geography, University of British Columbia, “Working Woods: Geographies of Change, Challenge, and Community”

Marion E. Jones and Brett D. Dolter, Economics, University of Regina, “Comfortable, Safe, Green Homes for All:  Policies and Programs to Make Home Energy Efficiency Up-Grades  Accessible to Low Income Households”

Gregor Wolbring, Community Health Science, Program in Rehabilitation and Disability Studies, University of Calgary, “Ableism: An Indicator for Climate Change Intervention, Dialogue, Characteristics, and Outcome”

6. The Ecopoetic Purview, Poetry Readings, Part 1 (EC1040)

Hosted by Natalie Meisner, Mount Royal University

Alison Calder, University of Manitoba

Beth Everest, Mount Royal University

Micheline Maylor, Mount Royal University

Richard Harrison, Mount Royal University

John Calderazzo, Colorado State University

3:00 – 3:15:  Break

3:15 – 4:30:   Keynote Address  (Ross Glen Hall)

Andrew Nikiforuk, Canada Over a Barrel

Chair: Pamela Banting, University of Calgary

4:45 – 7:30  Welcome Reception Wyckham House (SAMRU). 

With visual artists Krista Hamilton (Edmonton) and Holly Friesen (Montreal)


Thursday, October 14

9:15 – 10:45: Parallel Sessions  (7 through 11)

7. Urban Spaces, Bioaesthetics, and Music (EC2065)

Chair: Greg Mackie, University of British Columbia

Diana Patterson, English, Mount Royal University, “Leonard Henry Leacock, A Source”

Osprey Orielle Lake, Environmental Advocate and Public Art Sculptor, California, “Resilient Communities: Reconnecting with Nature in Contemporary Society and Urban Environments”

Curt Whitaker, English, Idaho State University, “Bioaesthetics and the West”

8. The Nature of Tourism (EC1040)

Chair: Phillip Van Huizen, University of British Columbia

Benedict Fullalove, Alberta College of Art and Design, and David Mittelstadt, Independent Author, “On Thin Ice: Ski Expeditions and Changing Landscapes in the Canadian Rockies”

Joe Pavelka, EcoTourism, Mount Royal University, “Tourists, Residents, Amenity Migrants and Our Highly Contested Spaces”

Polly Camber, University of Otago, New Zealand, “Reserving the Commons: Making Public Spaces into Public Places and the Early Tourism Industry”

9. Eco Poetry (EC2075)

Chair: Jeffery Donaldson, McMaster University,

Cornelia Hoogland, Education, University of Western Ontario, “Fractal Poetry”

Harry Vandervlist, English, University of Calgary, “‘There is no such place as away’: Reconciling the Abject in Ecology and Poetry”

Owen Percy, English, University of Calgary, “Conservatory: The Songs of Sid Marty”

10. Tar Sands/Oil Sands (EC1050)

Chair: Terra Simieritsch, Pembina Institute

Keely Kidner, Applied Linguistics, University of Alberta, “Oil Sands or Tar Sands?: What These Words Really Mean in Alberta”

Conny Davidsen, Geography, University of Calgary, “Political Ecology of the Tar Sands Discourse and Transformative Governance”

Glenn Mitchell, History, University of Wollongong, Australia, “The Athabasca Oil Sands and the Burrup Gas Project: How Environmental Justice Failed in the West of Australia and the West of Canada”

11. Alberta? (EC1060)

Chair: Sean Kheraj, Mount Royal University

Gilles Mossiere, Languages and Cultures, Mount Royal University, “Calgary-Banff: Mountain Marketing Revisited”

Myron Belej, ACP, MCIP, AICP; Urban Planner, CityPlanner Consulting Ltd., “Our Urban Albertan Identity Crisis: Exploring the Dichotomy Between Who We Are and Who We Want To Be”

David Day, Director, Environmental and Safety Management, The City of Calgary, “Calgary’s Community Greenhouse Plan”

10:45 – 11:00:     Coffee

11:00 – 12:15:     Keynote Address (Ross Glen Hall)

 Leo Jacobs, An Aboriginal Perspective on Resource Development and Impacts to Climate, Culture and Change

Chair: Larry Gauthier, Iniskim Center, Mount Royal University

12:15 – 1:15:      Lunch

1:15: – 2:45: Parallel Sessions (12 through 17)

12. Beautiful British Columbia (EC2065)

Chair: Vin Nardizzi, University of British Columbia

Charity Matthews, English, University of British Columbia, “More than a Mere Record: E. Pauline Johnson’s Anticolonial Ecofeminism”

Derek Woods, English, University of British Columbia, “The Hastings Mill-Site: Ecosystem and Economy in Victorian Vancouver”

Gregory Mackie, Coordinated Arts Program, University of British Columbia, “Architecture and Imperial Fantasy in British Columbia”

13. Who Comes After the Subject? (EC2075)

Chair: Pamela Banting, University of Calgary

Jess Roberts, English, Queen’s University, “The Edible Wild: Eating Wild Animals and Ecological Subjectivities in Ellen Meloy’s Eating Stone

Michele Braun, English, Mount Royal University, “Posthuman Environmental Impacts in Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake and Justina Robson’s Natural History

Greg Garrard, English, Bath Spa University, “Worlds Without Us, or Six Types of Ananthropy” (participating via video conference)

14. Space, Time, and Climate Change (EC2010)

Chair: John Calderazzo, Colorado State University

Stephanie LeMenager, English, University of California Santa Barbara, “Getting Over the West: GCC as a Crisis of Regional Imagination”

Anita Girvan, Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Victoria, “Bringing ‘Longitudinal Knowledge’ into Climate Change”

Eric Stottlemyer, English, University of Nevada Reno, “Spatial Perception and Western Land Development: Lessons from American Literary Modernism”

15. Knowledge and Indigeneity (EC1060)

Chair: Lianne Leddy, Mount Royal University

Frances Widdowson, Policy Studies, Mount Royal University, “’Indigenous Ways of Knowing’ and the Environment: Does Epistemological Relativism Contribute to the Protection of Western Lands?”

Shirley Roburn, Communication Studies, Concordia University, “Sound, Sense, Storytelling and Governance: The Call of Wild Language” (Video Conference)

Sam McKegney, English, Queen’s University, “’below the poverty line but… above the Arctic Circle’: Carceral Composition, Inuit Critical Autobiography, and the Environmental Decimation of the North”

16. Technological Solutions and Economic Diversification (EC1050)

Chair: David Finch, Bissett School of Business, Mount Royal University

Theresa Howland, VP Western Region, Bullfrog Power, “The Consumer’s Angle”

Roger Gibbins, CEO Canada West Foundation, “Economic Diversification”

Don Wharton, VP Sustainable Development, TransAlta, “TransAlta’s Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Project”

17. The Ecopoetic Purview: Poetry Readings, Part 2 (EC1040)

Hosted by Richard Harrison, Mount Royal University

Rita Wong, Emily Carr University

Cornelia Hoogland, University of Western Ontario

Vivian Demuth, Grande Prairie, Alberta

Harvey Hix, University of Wyoming

2:45 – 3:00:  Coffee

3:00 – 4:15:  Keynote Address (Ross Glen Hall) 

Dr. Bron Taylor, Dark Green Religion and the Roots of Western Environmental Resistance

Chair: Franca Bellarsi, Université Libre de Bruxelles

4:30 – 6:00:   Student Association of MRU Oil Sands Panel Discussion (Ross Glen Hall)

Moderator: Murray Cunningham

George Poitras, Former Chief of the Mikisew Cree

Terra Simieritsch, Oil Sands Policy Analyst, Pembina Institute

Randall Barrett, Regional Environmental Manager, Northern Region, Environmental Management Division, Alberta Environment

7:00 – 9:00:   Evening Event  Warren Cariou (Leacock Theater)

Special Screening of Warren Carious documentary film, Land of Oil and Water, followed by Q and A

Hosted by Sam McKegney, Queens University


Friday, October 15

9:15 – 10:45: Parallel Sessions (18 through 22)

18. Community and Neighbourhood Activism (EC2065)

Chair: Marion E. Jones, University of Regina

Mishka Lysack, Sociology, University of Calgary, “Educational Approaches to Climate Change: Building Ethical Frames and Environmental Citizenship in Action”

Timothy J. Haney, Sociology, Mount Royal University, “Limits to Social Capital: Comparing Network Activation in Two New Orleans Neighborhoods Devastated by Hurricane Katrina”

Rachel Hirsch, Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University, “Knowing how ‘to be’ and ‘what to do’ in a changing world: Lessons learned from residents’ stories about pesticides in the neighbourhood”

19. Science Under Fire? (EC1050)

Chair: Roger Saint-Fort, Mount Royal University

John Calderazzo, English, Colorado State University, “The Changing Climate of Science Communication in the U.S.”

Susan Harris, Humanities, Mount Royal University, “Can Planet Earth Save the Planet?”

Megan Packer, History, University of Western Australia, “Heated Atmospherics in a Critical Climate: Peer-Reviewed Science and its Role in Policy Making”

20. Parks and Leisure (EC2075)

Chair:  Melanie Boyd, University of Calgary

Phillip Van Huizen, History, University of British Columbia, “Creating a Green Image: Parks as Political Panaceas in 1970s British Columbia”

Karry Taylor, English, Mount Royal University, “Grizzlies, Geysers, and Mountains: Eco-Porn in Western National Parks”

Randy Schroeder, English, Mount Royal University, “Sand Trap at the Roof of the World: Golf, Rockies, Shangri-La”

21. Environmental Pedagogies (EC1040)

Chair: Franca Bellarsi, Université Libre de Bruxelles.

Lorin Schwarz, Education, York University, “World Enough Divided: Towards an Eco-poetic Curriculum in Schools and Teacher Education”

Lori Gray, Environmental Education and Communication, Royal Roads University, “Children’s Environmental Worldview in an Oil-Rich Economy”

Gareth Thomson, Executive Director, Alberta Council for Environmental Education, “Alberta, Environment, Education, and Hope”

22. Defining Western Identities (EC1060)

Chair: Renae Watchman, Mount Royal University

Doran Murphy, English, University of British Columbia, “Cormac McCarthy’s ‘Optical Democracy’ and its Relation to the Sidereal”

Geo Takach, Communication and Culture, University of Calgary, “Visualizing Alberta: Place Branding, Identity and the Oil Sands”

Nathan Kowalsky, Philosophy, University of Alberta, “Hunting as a Subversive Activity”

10:45 – 11:00:    Coffee

11:00 – 12:15:  Keynote Address (Ross Glen Hall)

Dr. Richard White, Injecting History into Climate Change

Chair: Robin Fisher, Vice President Academic, Mount Royal University

12:15 – 1:30:      Lunch

1:30: — 3:00: Parallel Sessions (23 through 27)

23. North of West (EC2065)

Chair: Alice Swabey, Mount Royal University

Liza Piper, History and Classics, University of Alberta, “Weathering Colonization in Canada’s Northwest, 1850-1939”

Stefan Sikora, Education and Schooling, Mount Royal University, “Symphony of Life in Geologic Time: Auto-ethnography and the Kluskus Indian Band”

Jon Gordon, English and Film Studies, University of Alberta, “Unraveling Fort McMurray: Literature, Ecology, and Politics”

24. Environmental Law and Policy (EC1050)

Chair: Paul Joosse, University of Alberta

Shawn Fluker, Law, University of Calgary, “Preservation of the Wild in Law: Some Reflections on Legal Process and Alberta Environmental Groups”

Rachael Paschal Osborn, Law, Gonzaga School of Law, “Columbia River Conflicts: Will Renegotiation of the Columbia River Treaty Recognize Rights to Ecosystem Waters?”

Keith Brownsey, Policy Studies, Mount Royal University, “Crude Politics: A Comparison of the Constitutions, Institutions, and Regulations in the New Mexico and Alberta Upstream Oil and Gas Sector”

25. Gender, Sexuality, Class, and the Environment (EC2075)

Chair: Susan Harris, Mount Royal University

Laura McGavin, English, Queen’s University, “Queer Nature: Galiano’s Land-Use Conflict”

Sarah Moore, School of Art, University of Arizona, “Celebrating the Thirteenth Labor of Hercules in San Francisco: A Manly Nation Builds the Panama Canal”

Jason Wiens, English, University of Calgary, “Class Consciousness and Ecological Sensibility in the Poetry of Ken Belford and Barry McKinnon”

26. Animality (EC1060)

Chair:  Ivan Grabovac, Mount Royal University

Pamela Banting, English, University of Calgary, “Wild Faces”

Michael Lukas, English, University of Victoria, “The Rhetoric of Wolves: Keeping the Wolf at Bay”

Marybeth Holleman, Independent Author, Alaska, “The Polar Bear”

27. Agriculture and Ranching (EC1040)

Chair: Harvey Hix, University of Wyoming

Alison Calder, English, Film, and Theatre, University of Manitoba, “’Pastures Unsung’: Representations of Agriculture in Trevor Herriot’s Writing

Tony Weis, Geography, University of Western Ontario, “Our Ecological Hoofprint” (Video Conference)

Warren Elofson, History, University of Calgary, “Saving the Grasslands on the Northern Great Plains”

3:00 – 3:30:       Coffee

3:30 – 5:00:  Parallel Sessions (28 through 32)

28. Nuclear Images and Issues (EC1040)

Chair: Stephanie LeMenager, University of California Santa Barbara

Nathan Dueck, English, University of Calgary, “Nuclear Winter, A Western Synecdoche”

Tracylee Clarke, Communication, California State University Channel Islands, “Native Americans, Nuclear Waste and Narrated Conflict: the Negotiation of Political Identity Among Members of the Skull Valley Goshutes”

Duane Bratt, Policy Studies, Mount Royal University, “Environmental Divide: The Use/Misuse of Environmental Arguments by Both Nuclear Proponents and Opponents in Alberta and Saskatchewan”

29. Nature and Culture (EC2065)

Chair: Kyle Bladow, University of Nevada, Reno

Melanie Boyd, Information Resources, University of Calgary, “What is Not Wilderness and Where Am I In It?: Righting Our Sense of Self”

Vivian Demuth, Independent Author, Alberta, “Field Notes on Mountain Culture and Ecological Protection”

Gerald Wheatley, Arusha Centre, Calgary, “Complementary Currency”

30. Colonialism and Culture in the Old and New West (EC2075)

Chair: Rita Wong, Emily Carr University

Jennifer Ladino, English, University of Idaho, “Face-ing the Old West and Birthing the New: Sherman Alexie’s Forward-Looking Nostalgia”

Kelly Hewson and Cliff Werier, English, Mount Royal University, “Staging the West: Cowboys and Indians at the Calgary Stampede”

Anthony Chiaviello, English, University of Houston, “Pinon Juniper Ghostlands”

31. The Changing Business Climate (EC1050)

Chair: Susan Quinn, Bissett School of Business, Mount Royal University

Julia Beresford, Sustainability Lead, Williams Engineering, Calgary, “Small and Medium Sized Businesses Embracing Environmental Values are Essential to Creating a Sustainable Economy in Canada”

Lorelei L. Hanson, Sean Ryan, and Mike Gismondi, Athabasca University, “Land Trusts in the Canadian West: Reengineering the Contours of Land, Conservation and Civic Engagement?”

Harvey Hix, English, University of Wyoming, “Bottom Line: Toward a Dialogue Between Environmentalism and Industry”

32. The Ecoliterary Moment: Readings, Part 3 (EC1060)

Hosted by Micheline Maylor, Mount Royal University

Jeffery Donaldson, McMaster University

Di Brandt, Brandon University

Marybeth Holleman, Anchorage, Alaska

Natalie Meisner, Mount Royal University

6:30 – 9:00:  Keynote Address  (Ross Glen Hall)

Maude Barlow speaks on The Global Water Crisis and the Coming Battle for the Right to Water before and after a screening of the film Blue Gold: World Water Wars in which she appears

Chair: Roger Saint-Fort, Mount Royal University


Saturday, October 16

9:00 – 10:30: Parallel Sessions (33 through 38)

10:45 – 12:00:  Keynote Address (Ross Glen Hall)

 Dr. Vandana Shiva, “Soil Not Oil: Food Security in Times of Climate Change”

Chair: Kimberly A. Williams, Mount Royal University

33. Contesting Boundaries (EC2010)

Chair: Sue Ellen Campbell, Colorado State University

Sean Atkins, History and Classics, University of Alberta, “More and Less Than a Great Divide: A Century of Historical Perspectives on Heights of Land in the Rocky Mountain Canadian West”

Jeremy Schmidt, Geography, University of Western Ontario, “Water’s Territory: Western Water Norms in Southern Alberta from Settlement to Sustainability” (participating via video conference)

Albert Braz, Comparative Literature, University of Alberta, “Re-constructing the Border: Jim Lynch and the Return of the Canada-US Boundary”

34. Environmental Politics: Radicalism and Reform (EC1050)

Chair:  Warren Cariou, University of Manitoba

Michael Truscello, English and General Education, Mount Royal University, “The End of Liberal Environmentalism”

Jessa Johnson, Policy Studies, Mount Royal University, “Winning the PR War in the West: Media, Interest Strategies, and Public Opinion”

Paul Joosse, Sociology, University of Alberta, “Civil Disobedience, Monkeywrenching, and ‘Eco-terrorism’: The Role of a Radical Fringe in the Environmental Movement”

35. Borderlands and Cosmopolitanism: The West in the World (EC2065)

Chair: Kit Dobson, Mount Royal University

Sarah Jaquette Ray, English and Geography & Environmental Studies, University of Alaska, “Transnational Ethics of Place and Western Environmental Justice Literature” (Video Conference)

Kyle Bladow, Environment and Literature, University of Nevada Reno, “Envisioning Bioregional Cosmopolitanism: Gary Paul Nabhan’s Place-Based Writing”

Stephen Siperstein, English, University of Oregon, “Imagining Climate Change: 350.org, Victory Speakers, and the New Planetary Patriots”  (Video Conference)

36. Imagined Wests: Connecting Artistic and Narrative Representation (EC1040)

Chair:  Alison Calder, University of Manitoba

Angela Waldie, English, University of Calgary, “Inscribing Passage: Portrayals of Migration in Fred Bosworth’s Last of the Curlews and Karsten Heuer’s Being Caribou

Michelle Potter, English, University of New Mexico (Taos), “Searching for an Angle of Repose: Narratives from the Confluence of the Red River and the Molycorp Mine”

Rita Wong, Faculty of Culture and Community, Emily Carr University, “Untapping Watershed Mind”

37. Painting and Photography (EC2075)

Chair: Sarah Moore, University of Arizona

Michaela Keck, American Studies, Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg, Germany, “Albert Bierstadt ‘Under Western Skies’: Two Westward Visions of the 1860s Revisited”

Kathryn Brownsey, Interior Design and Art History, Mount Royal University, “Into the Wild: Sybil Andrews and Canada”

Joan Handwerg, Liberal Arts, PNCA Oregon, “Whoever Brings the Water, Brings the People: David Maisel’s The Lake Project (2001-2003)

38. Stakeholders, Social Responsibility, and the Social License (EC1060)

Chair: Shawn Fluker, Faculty of Law, University of Calgary

David Finch, Bissett School of Business, Mount Royal University, “A Fine Balance: the Canadian Attitude Towards Environment, Economy and Energy”

Jeff Bone, Law, University of Calgary, “The Legal Impact of Corporate Environmental and   Sustainability Pledges”

David Ohreen, Bissett School of Business, Mount Royal University, “Social Responsibility: Concepts and Normative Ethics”

10:30 – 10:45:   Coffee

12:00 – 1:00:  Lunch

Mount Royal University Legacy of Ideas Roundtable

1:00 – 2:30 (Ross Glen Hall)

Maude Barlow, Bron Taylor, Leo Jacobs, Andrew Nikiforuk, Vandana Shiva, Richard White

                                    Moderator: Mario Trono, Mount Royal University













Past conferences for Under Western Skies