University of Calgary

Brian Rusted

  • Department Head

Currently Teaching



As an Associate Professor, I teach Film Studies and Communications Studies, in addition to courses in Canadian Studies and Art. Topics include documentary, cultural performance, tourism and visual culture, social and cultural approaches to communications, Canadian folklore, and the art of the Calgary Stampede.

My research explores visual culture and performance: what happens when visual culture is considered a sensory and social practice rather than as text or representation to be decoded. I have explored this in case studies on vernacular architecture and heritage aesthetics; popular photographic practices in the Canadian north; cowboy artists in southern Alberta, and the use of documentary film for social change.

Creative research has included spoken word performance and media art, with work exhibited, collected by or screened at the Walter Phillips Gallery, the Southern Alberta Art Gallery, the Marion Nichol Gallery, the National Gallery of Canada, the Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of New Art, and the Nickle Arts Museum. I was founding member of the Alberta Media Arts Alliance Society.

Curatorial research has involved film, video, painting, and architectural works with the Walter Phillips Gallery, The Nickle Arts Musuem, Latitude 53, The New Gallery, the Okotoks Cultural Centre, and EM/Media. In anticipation of the 2012 centennial of the Calgary Stampede, I curated an exhibition charting a century of the Stampede's involvement with art. As part of the University of Calgary's 50th anniversary, I curated an exhibition of alumni photographers, Here After.

I continue on the editorial boards of the following journals: Culture and OrganizationVisual Studies, Visual Communication Quarterly, Visual Methodologies, and the Journal of Illustration.  I have guest edited Ethnologies, Canadian Theatre Review, On Site Review, and Visual Studies. In 2016, I guest edited a special issue of Cultural Studies <=> Critical Methdologies called "Reiterating the Canadian West". I have published in Alberta History, Text and Performance Quarterly, Ethnologies, Canadian Folklore canadien, Cultural Studies, Theatre Annual, Western Folklore, and New York Folklore.

Bad portrait courtesy of Mandy Stobo


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