About

I am an educator and historian, working at the University of the Fraser Valley, where I am Vice-Provost and Associate Vice-President, Academic. My research interests are in the areas of northern studies, Indigenous studies, the history of visual culture (with an emphasis on film and photography), and oral traditions. I can be reached at pggeller@gmail.com.

My interest in northern studies has led to serving on the Board and then the Executive of the Association of Canadian Universities for Northern Studies / Association universitaire canadienne d’études nordiques (ACUNS). I am currently serving a second term as President.

My book, Northern Exposures: Filming and Photographing the Canadian North, 1920-1945 (UBC Press), presents a history and analysis of the visual representations of the “north,” largely through the lenses of the Canadian federal government, Anglican missions, and the Hudson’s Bay Company. In researching the book I “rediscovered” an extensive and unique collection of film footage at the National Film and Television Archives (British Film Institute), London. The core of the collection is footage of Canada shot in 1919 for a film, The Romance of the Far Fur Country, produced as part of the celebrations of the 250th Anniversary of the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1920.

The footage has recently returned to Canada – to the Hudson’s Bay Company Archives in Winnipeg. Spurred on by the interest from documentary film maker Kevin Nikkel, the footage was also transferred to HD video. A documentary on the Return of the Far Fur Country is underway. This is part of a collaborative project to not only restore the film but also screen and return these moving images from the early part of the twentieth century to the communities where the pictures were taken – although never shown.

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