I am a reader, writer, traveler and photographer. With an Oxford D.Phil. I conducted twenty-five years of research and teaching at the University of Alberta until retiring as Professor Emeritus in 2014. I have published extensively in the environmental humanities, modernist and contemporary poetics, feminist theory and criticism, and gender and sexuality studies. A youthful phase of avid mountaineering prepared me for diverse critical adventures, including photography where, for me, exploratory thinking and traveling most engagingly meet. High altitude expeditions to the Alaska Range, the Bolivian and Peruvian Andes, the Mongolian Altai and the Rolwaling Himal taught me to see landscapes as territories of emerging perception. Recent travels around the Canadian Arctic, Iceland, East Greenland, northern Norway and Svalbard, and the Antarctic Peninsula reorient my sense of place towards circumpolar realities and the extreme fronts of climate change.
While continuing to produce scholarly work, I have initiated three creative book projects. Arctic Circlings: Travels in Nomadic Thought assembles photographic meditations on my travels in arctic habitats and environments to provoke thinking outside dominant metropolitan frameworks. The Living Ice composes vibrant, photographic "icescapes" for conjuring a series of philosophical essays on climate change and the material affects of ice. In a wholly different literary register, my third project attempts to assemble the poignant, if incongruent, fragments of a life-story that is both mine and not mine to tell. From the still-burning embers and stone-cold cinders of family memory, local history and genealogical registry, Torch assembles an elegiac quest for "Florence Marie Hoff," the long-absent birth-mother I recently discovered a year after her death. Torch experiments with a lyrical mix of memoir, moirologia and quest-narrative to compose an emergent feeling of untimely intimacy while haunting Florence's reputed gift for torch-singing.