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F r o m t h e E d it o r M e l o d y G r a u l ic h Perhaps, like Lewis and Clark, we are all exploring what lies around us, trying to understand where we are, where we’ve been, and where we’re going, asking questions of everyone we meet. — SueEllen Campbell, ‘“Connecting the Countrey’: W hat’s New in Western Lit Crit?” in Updating the Literary West A number of panels at annual W LA meetings for the past fifteen years have been devoted to exploring what recent theoretical approaches might prove useful to critics of western American litera­ ture: ecocriticism, feminism, poststructuralism, cultural geography, new historicism, ethnic studies. This issue, which includes three essays influenced by Bakhtin’s concept of dialogic encounters, focus­ es particularly on “asking questions of everyone we meet.” Reuben Ellis’s essay, “A Thousand Frontiers: An Introduction to Dialogue and the American West,” provides an introduction to the issue. Now for our thanks. First to Angela Ashurst-McGee, the first Thomas J. Lyon fellow at Western American Literature. I can’t imag­ ine having survived this year without Angela, a truly exceptional woman with several years experience at BYU Studies. Angela is tal­ ented, knowledgeable, extraordinarily competent at just about every­ thing, humorous, and totally unflappable. Dialogic herself, Angela is simultaneously honest and tactful, easy-going and disciplined. I’ve learned a good deal from her. I’d also like to thank Thomas Austenfeld, who is stepping down as BibliographicEditor but who has continued to be a valuable consultant for us this year. I wish I were as organized as he is. Finally, we’d like to apologize to Laura Barrett and Dorys Crow Grover for repeated lines in their essays in the last issue. Our print­ er’s new software had a glitch, which they have promised us is now . . . deglitched. ...


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