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Wildlife around Ring House 2

Ring House 2, the home of the University of Alberta Press, is in the northwest corner of the University of Alberta’s North Campus, next to the picturesque river valley. The 105-year-old house, originally built for faculty, is surrounded by ornamental fruit and spruce trees, lilac and caragana bushes, and a nice patch of grass. Tulips bloom in the spring time and day lilies flower during summer; and we always have a couple of hanging baskets to liven up the porch. One year we even had a beautiful weed growing in the flowerbed.

Chickadees and magpies, squirrels and rabbits are always around – and sometimes inside – the house, and for the second year in a row, our neighbours in Ring House 3 had a skunk family living under their porch. It is kinda fun to watch the baby skunks wobble about close to their den from behind the safety of our windows, as was taking a quick look at a flock of waxwings descending on one of the trees to gobble up the shrunken fruit and fly away full and happy.

I never imagined that, when working in the middle of a big city, and seeing something move in front of my window from the corner of my eye during the middle of a marketing meeting, looking up and expecting to see a big dog, I would see a deer leisurely looking for food! Or to have a coworker show me a picture he took in the middle of campus of a pheasant, doing who knows what.

As I’m writing this, there is a black bear wandering not too far from campus in the river valley… How many university presses can put THAT on their resume?



Our Scholar is in residence, and blogging about…

…one of the most impressive research projectsRegenerations at Congress launched at the 2015 meeting of the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences in Ottawa earlier this month, a prototype of a new “dynamic” form of digital book that has been developed by the Canadian Writing Research Collaboratory (CWRC) under the research leadership of Susan Brown of the University of Alberta and University of Guelph. Read more…

Congress 2015

This year for the first time the three Alberta university presses, Athabasca University Press, the University of Alberta Press, and the University of Calgary Press, arranged to have a combined presence at Congress 2015 in Ottawa. The historically large display of six booths provided an impressive exhibit of books arranged by subjects from all three presses.

It wasn’t just the display-that-was-hard-to-ignore-that made Congress attendees stop. Many appreciated our jelly bean contest, and the Orange Crush pyramid amongst the books. By the way, the correct answer to our “Math is Hard” question is 811 jelly beans in the jar, and the winner came very, very close, by estimating 810. To expand on the theme, the prize was a Notley Crüe T-shirt.

Amidst the flurry of authors and other visitors to the booth, UAP staff attended talks and events. Event upon event upon event: first, there was the launch of the Dynamic Table of Contexts for Regenerations. Susan Brown whirled those in attendance into a digital realm in which the text became fluid and the possibilities for scholarly research expanded. Long after the short presentation, those who had attended the launch lingered to ponder this new tool.

Monday was a busy night. Monika attended the CCWH-CCHF Reception and flaunted A Canadian Girl in South Africa with the help of co-editor, Susanne Klausen. Many great books were presented by women historians; a big thank you goes out to organizer Karen Balcom and host Dr. Sharon Cook.

All the while back at campus, Peter and Colleen danced on the tables at the Book Slam hosted by iPolitics. Well, Peter was on the table sporting his orange tie and flaunting … our books, Street Sex Work and Canadian Cities and Grant Notley: The Social Conscience of Albertato be more specific. Colleen kept the time. No one missed a beat. It was a wonderful evening about books and discovering the synergy that exists between Canada’s University Presses and the journalists who make the stories our authors research. Thank you to John Butterfield, Sally Douglas, and all the wonderful staff from iPolitics who attended the event. We may have to do a reprise in 2016.

On Tuesday evening, Peter and Colleen joined PearlAnn Reichwein at the Canadian History Association’s Awards presentations. The range of research that was celebrated was astounding, and we were particularly pleased to hear that PearlAnn had won the Clio Prize (Regional) for Climber’s Paradise.

All in all, it was an interesting and successful week. Thank you Earle Waugh, Gerald Beasley (Vice-Provost & Chief Librarian, University of Alberta), Thomas Hickerson, (Vice-Provost, Libraries, University of Calgary), Chris Adams, Paul Martin, Trevor Harrison, and Susanne Klaussen, among others for stopping by to say hello and admire the combined efforts of the three University Presses of Alberta.

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New UAP Website

June 8, 2015 saw the launch of the University of Alberta Press’s new website. We are delighted with its dynamic new look, organization, searchability, and functionality.

The new website is a major improvement over the old site (launched way back in 2002). The home page is dynamic rather than static, showcasing new titles and pulling in entries from our blog. The website also incorporates a more streamlined online store.

Social media and sign-up options are front-and-centre. The website is also mobile-friendly, a key consideration.

Each book page offers general information about the book, tidily combining all of the available editions. Tabs offer loads of additional information, eliminating much of the need for scrolling.

Lara Minja of Lime Design did the look and feel. Our colleagues and friends at Headfast did the programming and their database, BooksoniX, powers the backend. Our Sales/Marketing Manager, Cathie Crooks, mapped out the site, rewrote the text, and oversaw all stages of its production. The rest of the UAP team made suggestions, offered support, and cheered her on.

Sincere appreciation also goes to University of Alberta colleagues who helped along the way: Kenton Good, Gordie Mah, Diane Alguire, Ian Page, and particularly Natasha Nunn.

Comments should be sent to Cathie Crooks at ccrooks@ualberta.ca.

“Climber’s Paradise” wins the CHA’s Clio Prize (Prairies)

Climber's ParadiseEdmonton, AB – The University of Alberta Press congratulates PearlAnn Reichwein for being awarded the Clio Prize (Prairies) from the Canadian Historical Association (CHA). The award recognizes her insightful book, Climber’s Paradise: Making Canada’s Mountain Parks, 1906–1974, as an exceptional contribution to regional history.

The citation reads:

PearlAnn Reichwein’s Climber’s Paradise: Making Canada’s Mountain Parks, 1906–1974 is a fantastic blend of leisure, environmental, and cultural history. Focusing on the Alpine Club of Canada, Professor Reichwein explores the ways the history of the club parallels and affected the development of the Rocky Mountain parks over the twentieth century. Covering topics ranging from the marketing of climbing equipment to organising opposition to hydro development in the park, she has written a book of broad appeal to twentieth century historians. In her conclusion she makes very powerful arguments about environmental history, climate change, and our relationship to nature and the mountains. The book is an exciting read and beautifully produced, integrating many images and side bars on a variety of topics, making it appealing to a broader audience than the academic market.

Reichwein says, “I am honoured to win this significant award. Being able to accept it in Ottawa, among my CHA colleagues and friends, was particularly moving as well as a reminder of the importance of heritage and cultural institutions. Writing this book relied on collections and specialists at Library Archives Canada and regional archives as well as national parks. I am also thankful to generous funders and University of Alberta Press.”

In Climber’s Paradise, Reichwein looks at the Alpine Club of Canada (ACC) as a viewfinder on Canada’s changing outlook on recreation, land use and conservation, particularly in iconic western mountain parks and farther north. Canadian mountaineers stand out as intergenerational advocates of conservation and public space with deep roots amid changing times. Her extensive scholarship contributes to U of A’s Canadian Mountain Studies Initiative.PearlAnn

Reichwein also brings her own voice to Canadian mountaineering literature, combining creative non-fiction with lyrical nature writing. The book shares her personal stories of mountaineering, with an idyllic ascent up the Kiwa Glacier and Mount Wilfrid Laurier. She presents a compelling case for understanding wild places and human history as parts of a whole. Years of archival research enhanced by rare images make Climber’s Paradise a book of invaluable scholarship as well as a great read.

Other recognition for the book includes the international Banff Mountain Film & Book Festival competition Finalist, Mountain and Wilderness Literature Non Fiction, and INDIEFAB Book of the Year Award Finalist, Ecology & Environment, along with an international award for the design of the book.


About the University of Alberta Press

The University of Alberta Press publishes in the areas of biography, history, language, literature, natural history, regional interest, travel narratives and reference books. With hundreds of scholarly and trade books, UAP contributes to the intellectual and cultural life of Alberta and Canada. www.uap.ualberta.ca


About the Canadian Historical Society

Founded in 1922, the Canadian Historical Association / La Société historique du Canada is a bilingual not-for-profit and charitable association devoted to fostering the scholarly study and communication of history in Canada. It is the largest of its kind in the country. www.cha-shc.ca

PearlAnn Reichwein, Associate Professor, Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, University of Alberta, pearlann.reichwein@ualberta.ca, 780-492-0579

Cathie Crooks, Sales/Marketing Manager, University of Alberta Press
ccrooks@ualberta.ca, 780-492-5820

Michel Duquet, Executive Director, Canadian Historical Association
mduquet@cha-shc.ca, 613-233-7885



“‘The social and cultural history of mountaineering can go far beyond the simple understanding of history as a fixed chronology of great ascents in a progressive evolution of ‘important events,’ writes Reichwein in her preface. The history of leisure and sport, she argues, can be brought together with environmental history and conservation philosophy. In this book, illustrated with rarely seen historical images, she explores how Alpine Club of Canada members helped shape the policies and sensibilities of western Canada’s mountain parks, as the Club imagined and advocated on behalf of those parks to create a climber’s paradise in the Rockies and neighbouring ranges.” Lynn Martel, Alpine Club of Canada Gazette (Vol 23. No 3), November 1, 2014

“There has been a definite need for a finely crafted book on the relationship between the Alpine Club of Canada (ACC) and Canada’s Mountain Parks. Climber’s Paradise tells the tale in an exquisite manner and, in doing so, reveals much about the complex paradise of Canada’s mountaineering history and ethos…. Reichwein has certainly emerged…as one of the primary keepers of the distinctive Canadian mountaineering tradition, and Climber’s Paradise confirms yet again why this is the indubitable case.” [Full review at bit.ly/1nYxnCK] Ron Dart, Highline Magazine, October 1, 2014

Advance Praise

“At a time when civil society and environmental organizations are being vilified in the media as ‘special interest groups,’ it is important to understand the crucial roles played by the Alpine Club of Canada not only in the creation of our magnificent mountain parks but in shaping the Canadian identity.” John Bennett, Executive Director, Sierra Club Canada

“Wilderness. Symbol of nationhood. Playground. Sanctuary. Revenue source. Over the last century Canada’s mountain parks have been imagined and reimagined through a spectrum of meanings and contending desires. PearlAnn Reichwein’s history of the Alpine Club of Canada explores these incarnations and tells the fascinating stories of the people who cared fiercely for the mountains and struggled over their use and value. Just as importantly, Reichwein traces out the less visible tracks of class, race, and gender that weave through the grand narratives of adventure and conquest. This is vital reading for anyone who cares about our vanishing wild heritage.” Thomas Wharton, award-winning author of Icefields

“This is a remarkable story. It’s about how a small group of urban, middle-class, Anglo Canadians, working through the Alpine Club of Canada, sought to assert their narratives of alpinism, the environment, nation, and interpersonal relations on Canada’s western Canadian mountain parks, and the conditions they faced, the institutions they created, the political victories they achieved, and the struggles and setbacks they encountered.

Professor Reichwein tells it brilliantly, bringing both a climbers’ love of the mountains and a social historian’s critical distance and research to her subject. Her analysis is illuminated with mini-biographies of the key players, grounded in their speeches and personal correspondence resourcefully dug out of archival collections, and an extensive collection of photographs.

It’s an important contribution to the history of Canadian sport and recreation and a telling case study of volunteering, but anyone who has ever holidayed or even contemplated a hike in a mountain national park would enjoy and benefit from this book.” Bruce Kidd, University of Toronto historian and Olympian