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Athabasca University

Dr. Karen Wall

Associate Professor, Communication Studies



  • B.A. (Simon Fraser University)
  • M.A. (Simon Fraser University)
  • Ph.D. (University of Alberta)


I have been on faculty full time with the Communication Studies program in the Centre for State and Legal Studies since 2006, after many years with Athabasca University as a tutor and course writer. Over the years I have taught several CS courses including CMNS 302 Communication in History and CMNS 402 International Media Systems I – The Americas. I wrote the latter, as well as CMNS 401 Cultural Policy in Canada and CMNS 202: Media and Power in Canadian Society. Most recently I wrote, and am currently teaching, the course HERM 327 Heritage Policy in Canada for the Heritage Resource Management Program.

My research interests include aspects of travel, collective memory, migration, intercultural encounters, social change and, generally, modes of transformation or hybridity. Outside academia, I have pursued various collaborations in the arts with actors, filmmakers and musicians to produce narratives or artifacts often based on research into local histories. In June 2009, supported by an AU President's Award for Research and Scholarly Excellence, I completed a book manuscript on Alberta's social and cultural history of sport. An ongoing project in its latter stages is a SSHRC-funded history of the Banff School of Fine Arts, with collaborator Dr PearlAnn Reichwein, University of Alberta. Other recent work concerns Alberta cultural policy, First Nations culture and education, virtual travel technologies and the management of public risk, the history of the Banff School of Fine Arts, museum exhibition design and analysis, and the production of heritage and consumer environments in Edmonton.

Recently I have published articles concerning phenomena of pilgrimage and am pursuing interests in related performance traditions in media and touristic environments, particularly how different media contribute to the imagination and management of space, communities, mobility and narrative.

Updated February 10 2015 by Student & Academic Services

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