The Rhizomatic West
Representing the American West in a Transnational, Global, Media Age
Publication Year: 2008
Published by: University of Nebraska Press
Series: Postwestern Horizons
List of Illustrations
Many people have helped, in many different ways, with the writing of this book. I would like to begin by thanking Stephen Tatum for his generous advice and understanding of my work, for his friendship and great company in diverse western places. Also a big thank you to fellow scholars and friends ...
Introduction: Theorizing the Rhizomatic West
"Like people and schools of criticism, ideas and theories travel -- from person to person, from situation to situation, from one period to another. Cultural and intellectual life are usually nourished and often sustained by this circulation of ideas, and whether it takes the form of acknowledged or ...
1. Toward an Expanded Critical Regionalism: Contact and Interchange
As discussed in the introduction, a central concern of this book is how to think differently about the American West, to decentralize and dislocate the ways it has so often been considered, even among so-called revisionist writers and scholars, so that we might see westness as part of a larger system ...
2. Feasts of Wire: Rubén Martinez and the Transfrontera Contact Zone
To examine one specific type of critical regionalism I wish to turn to José David Saldívar's Border Matters: Remapping American Cultural Studies (1997), a work influenced by the theoretical syncretism of Stuart Hall's and Paul Gilroy's British cultural studies and seeking to present "the U.S.-Mexico border ...
3. Welcome to Westworld: Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in the West
An expanded critical regionalism like that explored in the previous chapters demonstrates that no region can be static or inward-looking, for it needs to recognize forces beyond the nation, considering how the regional travels and dialogues with other cultures, circulating as it is consumed and re-produced ...
4. "The 'Western' in Quotes": Generic Variations
As I discussed in the previous chapter, Sergio Leone's films were seen by some as the death knell of the Western and by others as its regenerative force, breathing new life into a tired, mythic formula and seeing the genre as the site for cultural critique and counterhegemonic practice. The established generic ...
5. Dialogical Landscapes: "Outsider" Photography of the West
Joel Meyerowitz has written of how he believes photographs work: "You picture something in a frame and it's got lots of accounting going on in it -- stones and buildings and trees and air -- but that's not what fills up a frame. You fill up a frame with feelings, energy, discovery, and risk, and leave room enough ...
6. Strata and Routes: Livnig on Reservation X
Writing this chapter from outside the United States and as a white critic has made me doubly conscious of my position in relation to the texts I am going to discuss, very much aware (again) of my "outsider" status. At the risk of making errors, of which I am sure there are many, I wanted to examine some notable ...
7. Postwestern Generations? Douglas Coupland's "Plastic Radiant Way"
Mike Davis writes of how the belief of Native American prophet Wovoka in the Ghost Dance as an apocalyptic reminder of the instability of a white West is still alive and evident as one surveys the "artificial world" of L.A.'s "neon landscapes" -- "Turnerian history . . . stripped down to its ultimate paranoia," ...
Conclusion: On "The Crystal Frontier"
Jean-François Lyotard's postmodern experimental text Pacific Wall begins with a description of the University of California, San Diego library as a "transparent jewel" with its "walls of glass" pointing in all directions, both "internal" and "external," radiating both total vision and knowledge ...