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Tarleton State University Southwestern Studies in the Humanities

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Alexandre Hogue

An American Visionary--Paintings and Works on Paper

Susie Kalil

Presenting the unique vision of an American original . . .   Alexandre Hogue, a renowned artist whose career spanned from the 1920s to his death in 1994, inherited the view of an America that imagined itself as filled with limitless potential for improvement, that considered high art and great ideas accessible to ordinary working people, and that saw no reason for an intellectual chasm between a learned elite and the masses. He always viewed himself as a radical, yet his passion stemmed from a deeply conservative idea: that art, culture, and nature should form a central force in the life of every human being. His well-known Dust Bowl series labeled him as a regionalist painter, but Hogue never accepted that identity. His work reveals the spirit of Texas and the Southwest as he experienced it for nearly a century. In his later years Hogue worked in forms of crisply rendered nonobjective and calligraphic one-liner paintings. Bringing to light new information regarding the Erosion and Oil Industry series, this book gives special attention to lesser known, post-1945 works, in addition to the awe-inspiring Moon Shot and final Big Bend series. Each series—from the hauntingly beautiful Taos landscapes and prophetic canvases of a dust-covered Southwest to his depictions of the fierce geological phenomena of the Big Bend—serves as a paean to the awesomeness of nature. Houston-based curator and critic Susie Kalil grew close to Hogue from 1986 to 1994, a time during which she interviewed him, considered his oeuvre with him, and came to share his vision of the nature and purposes of art. In Alexandre Hogue she reveals Hogue as he presented himself and his work to her. Collections with Alexandre Hogue's paintings: Musee National D'Art Moderne, Pompidou, Paris DallasMuseum of Art Museum of Fine Arts, Houston The GilcreaseMuseum, Tulsa The Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa University of Tulsa Tulsa Performing ArtsCenter Smithsonian Institution (NationalMuseum of American Art), Washington, DC OklahomaMuseum of Art, Okla City The SheldonMuseum of Art, University of Nebraska, Lincoln PhoenixArt Museum University of Arizona, Tucson Art Museum of SouthTexas, Corpus Christi Panhandle Plains Historical Museum, Canyon, Tx. StarkMuseum, Orange, Tx Southern MethodistUniversity, Dallas SpringfieldArt Museum, Springfield, Missouri WeatherspoonArt Museum, University of North Carolina at Greensboro The Federal Reserve Bank, Dallas The Williams Companies, Tulsa    

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Birth of a Texas Ghost Town

Thurber, 1886–1933

By Mary Jane Gentry; Edited by T. Lindsay Baker; Foreword by Larry Gatlin

In its heyday, Thurber was home to coal miners and brick plant workers from Italy, Poland, and as many as fourteen other European nations, not to mention the many Mexican immigrants who came to the area. In this, her master’s thesis, Mary Jane Gentry, who started the first grade in Thurber and graduated as valedictorian of its high school in 1930, records first-hand memories of the town’s vibrant charm. Now edited and with an introduction by T. Lindsay Baker, Gentry’s lively history of the rise and decline of a Texas coal town provides a unique window into a bygone era. Her narrative of rancorous labor disputes, corporate machinations, and the eventual shuttering of the plants and virtual disappearance of the once-thriving town will allow Thurber to live again, if only in the minds of her readers.

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Culture in the American Southwest

The Earth, the Sky, the People

Keith L. Bryant Jr.

If the Southwest is known for its distinctive regional culture, it is not only the indigenous influences that make it so. As Anglo Americans moved into the territories of the greater Southwest, they brought with them a desire to reestablish the highest culture of their former homes: opera, painting, sculpture, architecture, and literature. But their inherited culture was altered, challenged, and reshaped by Native American and Hispanic peoples, and a new, vibrant cultural life resulted. From Houston to Los Angeles, from Tulsa to Tucson, Keith L. Bryant traces the development of "high culture" in the Southwest.

Humans create culture, but in the Southwest, Bryant argues, the land itself has also influenced that creation. "Incredible light, natural grandeur, . . . and a geography at once beautiful and yet brutal molded societies that sprang from unique cultural sources." The peoples of the American Southwest share a regional consciousness—an experience of place—that has helped to create a unified, but not homogenized, Southwestern culture.

Bryant also examines a paradox of Southwestern cultural life. Southwesterners take pride in their cultural distinctiveness, yet they struggled to win recognition for their achievements in "high culture." A dynamic tension between those seeking to re-create a Western European culture and those desiring one based on regional themes and resources continues to stimulate creativity.

Decade by decade and city by city, Bryant charts the growth of cultural institutions and patronage as he describes the contributions of artists and performers and of the elites who support them. Bryant focuses on the significant role women played as leaders in the formation of cultural institutions and as writers, artists, and musicians. The text is enhanced by more than fifty photographs depicting the interplay between the people and the land and the culture that has resulted.

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Donald Barthelme

The Genesis of a Cool Sound

By Helen Moore Barthelme

Chronicling a literary life that ended not so long ago, Donald Barthelme: The Genesis of a Cool Sound gives the reader a glimpse at the years when Barthelme began to find his literary voice. A revealing look at Donald Barthelme's influences and development, this account begins with a detailed biographical sketch of his life and spans his growth into a true avant-garde literary figure. Donald Barthleme was born in Philadelphia but raised in Houston, the son of a forward-thinking architect father and a literary mother. Educated at the University of Houston, he became a fine arts critic for the Houston Post; then, following duty in the Korean conflict, he returned to the Post for a short time before becoming editor for Forum literary magazine. After that, he was also director of the Contemporary Arts Museum while writing and publishing his first stories. In the 1960s he moved to New York, where he became editor of Location and was able to practice the art of short fiction in such vehicles as the New Yorker and Harper's Bazaar. In a witty, playful, ironic, and bizarrely imaginative style, he wrote more than one hundred short stories and several novels over the years. In this literary memoir, Donald Barthelme's former wife, Helen Moore Barthelme, offers insights into his career as well as his private life, focusing especially on the decade they were married, from the mid-fifties to the mid-sixties, a period when he was developing the forms and genres that made him famous. During that time Barthelme was finding his voice as a writer and his short stories were beginning to receive notice. In her memoir, Helen Moore Barthelme writes about Donald's early years and her life with him in Houston and New York. In open, straightforward language she tells about their love for each other and about the events that finally divided them. She also describes, from the point of view of the person closest to Donald during that time, the making of one of the most original and imaginative American writers of the twentieth century. Scholars of avant-garde American literature will gain insider perspective to one man's life and the years which, for all their myriad joys and downturns, produced some of the best-remembered works in the literary canon.

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Exploding the Western

Myths of Empire on the Postmodern Frontier

By Sara L. Spurgeon

The frontier and Western expansionism are so quintessentially a part of American history that the literature of the West and Southwest is in some senses the least regional and the most national literature of all. The frontier—the place where cultures meet and rewrite themselves upon each other’s texts—continues to energize writers whose fiction evokes, destroys, and rebuilds the myth in ways that attract popular audiences and critics alike. Sara L. Spurgeon focuses on three writers whose works not only exemplify the kind of engagement with the theme of the frontier that modern authors make, but also show the range of cultural voices that are present in Southwestern literature: Cormac McCarthy, Leslie Marmon Silko, and Ana Castillo. Her central purposes are to consider how the differing versions of the Western “mythic” tales are being recast in a globalized world and to examine the ways in which they challenge and accommodate increasingly fluid and even dangerous racial, cultural, and international borders. In Spurgeon’s analysis, the spaces in which the works of these three writers collide offer some sharply differentiated visions but also create new and unsuspected forms, providing the most startling insights. Sometimes beautiful, sometimes tragic, the new myths are the expressions of the larger culture from which they spring, both a projection onto a troubled and troubling past and an insistent, prophetic vision of a shared future.

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Faded Glory

A Century of Forgotten Texas Military Sites, Then and Now

Thomas E. Alexander and Dan K. Utley

Each of the wars fought by Texans spawned the creation of scores of military sites across the state, from the lonely frontier outpost at Adobe Walls to the once-bustling World War II shipyards of Orange. Today, although vestiges of the sites still exist, many are barely discernible, their once-proud martial trappings now faded by time, neglect, the elements and, most of all, public apathy. ?In Faded Glory: A Century of Forgotten Texas Military Sites, Then and Now, Thomas E. Alexander and Dan K. Utley revisit twenty-nine sites—many of them largely forgotten—associated with what was arguably the most tumultuous hundred-year period in a five-century span of Texas history.? Whether in the war with Mexico, the American Civil War, in clashes between Indians and the frontier army, or in two worldwide conflicts fought on foreign shores, Texas and Texans have often answered the call to arms. Beginning in 1845 and continuing through 1945, the Lone Star State and its people were fully involved in seven major conflicts. ?In this thoroughly researched and absorbing guide, Alexander and Utley recount the full story of the sites from their days of fame to the present. Comparing historic sketches, paintings, and period photographs of the original installations with recent photographs, they illustrate how time has dealt with these important places. Providing maps to aid readers in locating each site, the authors close with a resounding call for preservation and interpretation for future generations. ?The descriptions and images restore, at least in the mind’s eye, a touch of vitality and color to these forgotten and disappearing sites. Thanks to Faded Glory: A Century of Forgotten Texas Military Sites, Then and Now, both the traveler and the armchair tourist can recover a sense of these places and events that did so much to shape the military history of Texas.

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Fritos® Pie

Stories, Recipes, and More

Kaleta Doolin; Foreword by Davia Nelson

Fritos® Pie is an insider’s look at the never-before-told story of the Frito Company written by Kaleta Doolin, daughter of the company’s founder. Filled with personal anecdotes, more than 150 vintage and newly created recipes, and stories, this book recounts the company’s early days, the 1961 merger that created Frito-Lay, Inc., and beyond. In 1932 C. E. Doolin, the operator of a struggling San Antonio confectionery, purchased for $100 the recipe for a fried corn chip product and a crude device used to make it, along with a list of nineteen customer accounts. From that humble beginning sprang Fritos® (“fries” in Spanish), a product that, thanks to Doolin’s marketing ingenuity and a visionary approach to food technology, would become one of the best-known brands in America. One of the first firms to utilize point-of-sale advertising, the Frito Company developed dozens of recipes intended to get American homemakers “Cooking with Fritos.” Indeed, Doolin shows that many of the vintage recipes developed by her grandmother, her father, and company employees became integral to the company’s marketing success. The book includes recipes—for everything from appetizers to desserts, all using Fritos as an ingredient—along with the author’s comments and anecdotes about her adventures experimenting with them in her kitchen. Doolin also draws upon hours of interviews with her mother, siblings, cousins, and many of her father's closest business associates as well as focused research in Frito-Lay corporate archives and other collections to paint a portrait of her father as not only an innovator in food marketing but also a visionary inventor, a forward-thinking agriculturalist, and an entrepreneur with an amazing grasp of detail.

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Marfa Flights

Aerial Views of Big Bend Country

T. Lindsay Baker

Take an unforgettable sky excursion over Big Bend with photographer Paul Chaplo as he captures the shapes, textures, and colors of the craggy, weathered landforms people usually see only from the ground—and some places no photographer has gone before. Flying from Marfa, and hanging precariously from the open door of an aircraft, Chaplo shares a hawk's eye view of a fiercely beautiful region, revealing the stark and magnificent landscapes carved by the force of eons of wind and water on the arid, mountainous country along the Rio Grande.

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Pastoral Vision of Cormac McCarthy

By Georg Guillemin

Georg Guillemin’s visionary approach to the work of Western novelist Cormac McCarthy combines an overall survey of McCarthy’s eight novels in print with a comprehensive analysis of the author’s evolving ecopastoralism. Using in-depth textual interpretations, Guillemin argues that even McCarthy’s early work is characterized less by traditional nostalgia for a lost pastoral order than by a radically egalitarian land ethic that prefigures today’s ecopastoral tendencies in Western American writing. The study shows that more than any of the other landscapes evoked by McCarthy, the Southwestern desert becomes the stage for his dramatizations of a wild sense of the pastoral. McCarthy’s fourth novel, Suttree, which is the only one set inside an urban environment, is used in the introductory chapter to discuss the relevant compositional aspects of his fiction and the methodology of the chapters to come. The main part of the study devotes chapters to McCarthy’s Southern novels, his keystone work Blood Meridian, and the Western novels known as the Border Trilogy. The concluding chapter discusses the broader context of American pastoralism and suggests that McCarthy’s ecopastoralism is animistic rather than environmentalist in character. Guillemin shows that the very popular Border Trilogy takes McCarthy’s ecopastoralism to its culmination, although this is often overlooked precisely because of the simplicity of the plots—picaresque quests. As the trilogy arranges its plots as a search for a life of pastoral harmony (All the Pretty Horses), envisions a nomadic version of pastoral (The Crossing), and experiences the foreclosure of the pastoral vision anywhere (Cities of the Plain), the trilogy as a whole tacitly acknowledges the obsolescence of utopian pastoralism. Increasingly, man ceases to be the dominant focus of narration, so that the shift from an egocentric to an ecocentric sense of self marks both the heroes and narrators of McCarthy’s novels.

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Southern Family in White and Black

The Cuneys of Texas

By Douglas Hales

The complex issues of race and politics in nineteenth-century Texas may be nowhere more dramatically embodied than in three generations of the family of Norris Wright Cuney, mulatto labor and political leader. Douglas Hales explores the birthright Cuney received from his white plantation-owner father, Philip Cuney, and the way his heritage played out in the life of his daughter Maud Cuney-Hare. This intergenerational study casts light on the experience of race in the South before Emancipation, after Reconstruction, and in the diaspora that eventually led cultural leaders of African American heritage into the cities of the North. Most Texas history books name Norris Wright Cuney as one of the most influential African American politicians in nineteenth-century Texas, but they tell little about him beyond his elected positions. In The Cuneys, Douglas Hales not only fills in the details of Cuney’s life and contributions but places him in the context of his family’s generations. A politically active plantation owner and slaveholder in Austin County, Philip Cuney participated in the annexation of Texas to the United States and supported the role of slavery and cotton in the developing economy of the new state. Wealthy and powerful, he fathered eight slave children whom he later freed and saw educated. Hales explores how and why Cuney differed from other planters of his time and place. He then turns to the better-known Norris Wright Cuney to study how the black elite worked for political and economic opportunity in the reactionary period that followed Reconstruction in the South. Cuney led the Texas Republican Party in those turbulent years and, through his position as collection of customs at Galveston, distributed federal patronage to both white and black Texans. As the most powerful African American in Texas, and arguably in the entire South, Cuney became the focal point of white hostility, from both Democrats and members of the “Lily White” faction of his own party. His effective leadership won not only continued office for him but also a position of power within the Republican Party for Texas blacks at a time when the party of Lincoln repudiated African Americans in many other Southern states. From his position on the Galveston City Council, Cuney worked tirelessly for African American education and challenged the domination of white labor within the growing unions. Norris Wright Cuney’s daughter, Maud, who was graced with a prestigious education, pursued a successful career in the arts as a concert pianist, musicologist, and playwright. A friend of W. E. B. Du Bois, she became actively involved in the racial uplift movement of the early twentieth century. Hales illuminates her role in the intellectual and political “awakening” of black America that culminated in the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s. He adroitly explores her decision against “passing” as white and her commitment to uplift. Through these three members of a single mixed-race family, Douglas Hales gives insight into the issues, challenges, and strengths of individuals. His work adds an important chapter to the history of Texas and of African Americans more broadly.

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