Aritha van Herk

Calgary author

Aritha van Herk is a born and raised Albertan who teaches in the department of English at the University of Calgary. Author of numerous novels, journal articles and several works of criticism, she has lectured widely throughout Canada and Europe. She is a member of the Alberta Order of Excellence.

Latest from Aritha van Herk

OPINION | Looking south, at a shuddering elephant

Like that proverbial train wreck, we can’t look away, and if we comfort ourselves that “it won’t affect us,” we are truly delusional, says Aritha van Herk.

OPINION | COVID-19: The future is here, now we must be resilient, nimble and smart

"I have faith in social cohesion, but the line between human civility and baseness is a thin one' — Aritha Van Herk, author and historian, on the sacrifices and challenges to come.

OPINION | Why Calgary can't claim the 'maverick' logo anymore

'Maverick' is a metonym for curiosity and innovation, implying people who are risk-taking, forward-looking, and creative.

Calgary's new central library tells us how much our community has changed

"Even if the image persists in our imaginations, the notion of a library as a rarefied temple of erudition and illumination is long extinguished,” says Aritha van Herk.

Calgary's neo-puritanism and the madness of crowds

“Like all thoughtful citizens of Calgary, I am increasingly aware of the extent to which we seem to have embraced a culture of click-bait opinion determined to impose either moral umbrage or slavish endorsement of situations and events, without stopping to consider or to analyze the long-term effect of such imitative behavior.”

A meditation on Calgary in our turbulent times

Aritha Van Herk meditates on our city. How we thrive on upheaval. A city that believes its own exaggerations and deceptions. A city now subject to outside scorn by those who thought we were too big for our britches. How Calgary, in these hard times, is actually becoming more of itself. A city puzzling, but intricately variable and adaptable.

The big blue hoop: A lens on Calgary's soul

"We might believe that our character is formed by economics or geology, but there are deeper footings underwriting Calgary, despite our oblivion or our deliberate disregard." Aritha van Herk on a big blue hoop and our city's form and substance.