Susan Kollin is Professor of English and a CLS Distinguished Professor at Montana State University. She teaches courses in the literature of the American West, transnational American Studies, and Environmental Humanities. She recently edited A History of Western American Literature (Cambridge University Press) and is the author of Captivating Westerns: The Middle East in the American West (University of Nebraska Press). Her other books include Nature's State: Imagining Alaska as the Last Frontier (University of North Carolina Press) and the edited volume, Postwestern Cultures: Literature, Theory, Space (University of Nebraska Press). She was a Fulbright Scholar at the American University in Cairo and is a former President of the Western Literature Association.
Mary Murphy is Distinguished Professor of Letters and Science at Montana State University Bozeman, where she teaches courses in the history of the North American West, gender, and the history of food. Among her books are Hope in Hard Times: New Deal Photographs of Montana, 1936-1942 and Mining Cultures: Men, Women, and Leisure in Butte, 1914-41. She is currently working on two book projects, “Culinary Diplomacy: Gender, Food, and Politics on the Northern Borderlands,” and with co-authors, Molly Kruckenberg, Zoe Ann Stoltz, and Jan Zauha, “Cooking Up the Past: A Culinary History of Montana.”
She has held fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Bienecke Library, the Cody Institute for Western American Studies, the Montana Historical Society, and the Ucross Foundation. In 2013 she received the Montana Governor’s Humanities Award.
Western landscapes and cultures pulled Allison west from Virginia after high school. She immediately fell in love with the mountains and people and decided to stay. She graduated from Montana State University with a BS in Land Rehabilitation in 2010. For five years, Allison worked alongside agricultural producers in northcentral Montana. She returned to school in hopes of learning how to increase the interaction of people, their environment, and their food. She completed her Master’s degree in Food Systems in May of 2017. The pull of the academic atmosphere and love of the West led her to the Center for Western Lands and Peoples. When Allison is not at the Center for Western Lands and Peoples, she is coordinating the American Studies program. In her spare time, you can find her in a local mountain range or wrangling her twin sons.