Bradley, Ben

PhD (Queen's University); MA (University of Victoria); BA Hons (Simon Fraser University) Assistant Professor
Email: Campus:
  • Prince George

Research and Expertise

Dr. Bradley is a cultural and environmental historian of Canada whose work focuses on the west and on British Columbia in particular. His research examines how non-urban communities and landscapes were unevenly affected by changing patterns of mass consumption, travel, and resource use during the twentieth century. His award-winning book "British Columbia by the Road: Car Culture and the Making of a Modern Landscape" (2017) shows how modern highways, mass automobile ownership, and the emergence of a roadside service industry transformed popular perceptions of BC’s history and environments. He has also edited scholarly collections and journal issues about parks, tourism, mobility, food, and the public past. Dr. Bradley is currently working on two books. One is about mobility and rural modernity, examining how rivers, railways, roads, and roadlessness shaped rhythms of everyday life in BC’s Robson Valley and Yellowhead Pass regions. The other, tentatively titled "Fruit Stand Ahead," is an agricultural-architectural history of roadside fruit stands in the southern Interior. These colourful, seemingly straightforward artifacts of agraria are shown to have had a complex political economy and controversial reputations. Bradley’s newest research is on “rowdyism” in provincial and national parks in the period 1965-1985, bringing environmental history into greater conversation with the histories of youth and popular culture.

Research Fields:
  • Community
  • Conservation
  • Culture
  • Energy
  • Environment
  • History
  • Rural planning and development
  • Tourism
  • Youth
Areas of Expertise:

British Columbia history, modern Canadian history, 20th century Canada, cultural history, social history, environmental history, highways, railways, rural development, tourism, leisure, recreation, parks, car culture, service industry.

Languages Spoken:
  • English
Available to be contacted by the media as a subject matter expert

Selected Publications


British Columbia by the Road: Car Culture and the Making of a Modern Landscape. Vancouver: UBC Press, 2017.

Moving Natures: Mobility and the Environment in Canadian History. Co-edited with Colin M. Coates and Jay Young. Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 2016.

Journal articles

“Fruitleggers, Fruit Police, and British Columbia’s Black Market in Orchard Fruit, 1935-1975.” With Jan Hadlaw. Histoire sociale/Social History 111 (2021): 359-384.

“Agricultural, Food, and Fuel Markets from the Perspective of Social History.” With Jodey Nurse. Histoire sociale/Social History 111 (2021): 243-259.

“‘Undesirables Entering the Town to Look for Good Times’: Banff Confronts its Counterculture Youth Scene, 1965-1971.” Urban History Review 47, 1-2 (2018-19): 71-88.

“Between Orchard and Highway: Roadside Produce Stands as Rural Artifact and Enterprise.” With Jan Hadlaw. Material Culture Review 82-83 [2017]: 10-25.

“The David Thompson Memorial Fort: An Early Outpost of Historically Themed Tourism in Western Canada.” Histoire sociale/Social History 99 (2016): 409-429.

“Canadian Tourism History: Landscape, Memory, Nature.” With J.I. Little. Histoire sociale/Social History 99 (2016): 235-242.

"Lucerne No Longer Has an Excuse to Exist’: Mobility, Landscape, and Memory in the Yellowhead Pass.” BC Studies 189 (2016): 37-53.