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  • Contributors


Amy T. Hamilton is an assistant professor of English at Northern Michigan University on Michigan’s upper peninsula. Her teaching and research interests include American Indian, Chicana/o, early American, environmental, and western American literatures. Her current research projects are concerned with the trope of walking in American literature from a cross-cultural perspective, as well as the early American “West.”

Tom J. Hillard is an assistant professor of English at Boise State University, where he teaches courses on early American literature, literature and the environment, and the literary Gothic. His recent research focuses on the early American “West,” as well as the intersections between nature writing and the literary Gothic in American literature and culture. A former coeditor of the Boise State University Western Writers Series, he is currently Book Review Editor for the journal ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment.

Alan Noble is a PhD student of English at Baylor University where he teaches composition and studies contemporary American literature. While pursuing his degree, he has presented a number of papers on Cormac McCarthy, his favorite author, at various conferences. He intends to write his dissertation on the role of transcendence in authors such as J. D. Salinger, Carson McCullers, and Cormac McCarthy.

Martha L. Viehmann teaches English at Sinclair Community College’s Courseview Campus in Mason, Ohio. Her interest in Native American studies dates from her college days at Dartmouth. Her previous publications include articles and book chapters about Mourning Dove, Mary Austin, and the overlaps and disconnects between Native American literature and the literature of the US West.


Matthew Couper is a New Zealand native who is based in Las Vegas after immigrating to the United States in 2010. His practice over the past decade has appropriated aspects of western art history including the Trecento, the Quattrocento, and the Baroque. Couper uses the established narrative traditions of Spanish Colonial retablos and ex-votos to discuss the space between myth, religion, and art politics. Huffington Post art critic John Seed recently referred to Couper as an “artist with a Kafkaesque view of the world” whose imagery suggests “a pagan Catholic Cirque du Soleil.” His works are represented in public collections throughout New Zealand and are also available in North America [End Page 331] at the Cirque du Soleil Resident Show Division, Montreal and Las Vegas, and in exhibits in the United States at PG Contemporary, Houston, and Sacred Machine, Tucson. Couper keeps an artist website with links to his artwork at

John Barnard (Jay) Leach, of Hicksville, New York, was a prolific creator of first-day cover cachets to coincide with first-day-of-issue stamps. He established Overseas Mailers Ltd. in 1950, at first selling used stamps, but by 1953 he had begun drawing, printing, and hand-painting first-day covers. Leach also modified other artists’ work on first-day covers and wrote inserts which provided his customers detailed decriptions of the cover art and the stamp. He continued to adapt and produce covers until 1978. For more examples of Leach’s and other first-day-cover artists’ work see

Alex MacPhail is a social worker, who, in 1973–74, walked across the country from Maine to Oregon, photographing the people he met. He had intended to publish the photos in a book to coincide with the US bicentennial. However, the book project stalled and the photos were left in storage for over thirty years. In 2006, MacPhail rejuvenated the project, digitized the 35 mm film, and uploaded the photos to his blog. The uploaded photos can be viewed at American Photographs:

John Sellar was a British instrument maker, cartographer, and chart seller. He was apprenticed in 1644 to Edward Lowe and seems to have begun publishing maps on his own in 1659. A full account of his career as a map and chart maker is given by C. Verner in The Compleat Mapmaker, Essays on Chart and Map Making in England in the 17th and 18th Centuries, ed. N. J. W. Thrower (Berkeley, 1978). [End Page 332]


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