Aritha van Herk, MA, D.Can.L. (Hon.)MA in English University of Alberta Canada
Areas of Research
I have published five novels and dozens of short stories. I am primarily interested in narrative that subverts genre and gender, as well as narrative that negotiates its own historical structure and effect.
I've worked extensively in cross-genre writing, the synergy of fiction and criticism, and how that can be explored and deployed in creative ways.
"In This Place: Calgary 2004-2011" and "Prairie Gothic" (photographs by George Webber, words by Aritha van Herk) are both texts that develop the idea of geographical and historical temperament as tonal accompaniment to landscape.
I currently hold a SSHRC Insight Grant to write a place-biography of the Canadian writer Robert Kroetsch. This work engages with Kroetsch's writerly apprehension of place in his fiction, poetry, and non-fiction.
My work in history as narrative has been published as "Mavericks: An Incorrigible History of Alberta" and "Audacious and Adamant: the Story of Maverick Alberta." I've also published a history of University of Calgary, "The Age of Audacity," and a prose-poetry meditation on the west as construct, "Stampede and the Westness of West."
I work in contemporary Canadian fiction, especially fiction of the west, historical fiction, and fiction by women.
Working with this supervisor
I supervise students in Creative Writing and contemporary Canadian fiction. I expect graduate students to be clear and organized, with good background knowledge. If they are Creative Writing candidates, they should approach me with a portfolio of writing.
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