The Center for Western Lands and Peoples at Montana State University focuses on the natures and cultures of the western United States and Canada. Highlighting interdisciplinary research and teaching, the reach of the Center is often public. Faculty and students in a variety of fields, including American studies, English, film and photography, geography, history, archaeology, and Native American studies explore the meaning of place as expressed in a variety of texts and material objects. These scholars examine the West as a place of powerful legends and stories in their studies of literature and the visual arts. Students and faculty also trace the role the region and its borders have played in the creation and development of American national identity. In the process, they study the history of encounters between diverse populations in the West and the ways the region has served as a laboratory for working out relations between native and newcomer groups. The West is understood as a complicated space where different populations have struggled over the land and resources. These complexities have led to the creation of a rich and vibrant world that the Center for Western Lands and Peoples looks forward to exploring.


Doig Country: Imagining Montana and the West” (photo courtesy Tyler Ready).Field trip during 2017 symposium on Doig Country: Imagining Montana and the West (photo courtesy Tyler Ready) 



Co-Directors Dr. Robert Rydell and Dr. Mary Murphy and Director Dr. Susan Kollin