A Companion to the Literature and Culture of the American West
May 2011, Wiley-Blackwell
Offers a comprehensive approach to the wide range of cultural expressions originating in the west
Focuses on the intersections, complexities, and challenges found within and between the different historical and cultural groups that define the west's various distinctive regions
Addresses traditionally familiar icons and ideas about the west (such as cowboys, wide-open spaces, and violence) and their intersections with urbanization and other regional complexities
Features essays written by many of the leading scholars in western American cultural studies
Part I: Introduction.
1 Imagining The West (Nicolas S. Witschi).
Part II: Regions and Histories.
2 Exploration, Trading, Trapping, Travel, and Early Fiction, 1780-1850 (Edward Watts).
3 Worlds of Wonder and Ambition: Gold Rush California and the Culture of Mining Bonanzas in the North American West (Peter J. Blodgett).
4 The Literate West of Nineteenth-Century Periodicals (Tara Penry).
5 A History of American Women's Western Books, 1833-1928 (Nina Baym).
6 Literary Cultures of the American Southwest (Daniel Worden).
7 Literary Cartography of the Great Plains (Susan Naramore Maher).
8 The Literary Northern Rockies as The Last Best Place (O. Alan Weltzien).
9 North by Northwest: The Last Frontier of Western Literature (Eric Heyne).
10 Chronotopes of the Asian American West (Hsuan L. Hsu).
11 African American Literature and Culture and the American West (Michael K. Johnson).
12 Mythical Frontiers: Manifest Destiny, Aztlán, and the Cosmic Race (John L. Escobedo).
13 Writing the Indigenous West (Kathleen Washburn).
14 Framing Class in the Rural West: Cowboys, Double-Wides and McMansions (Nancy Cook).
15 Postcolonial West (Alex Hunt).
16 New West, Urban and Suburban Spaces, Postwest (Krista Comer).
Part III: Varieties and Forms.
17 What We Talk about When We Talk about Western Art (Brian W. Dippie).
18 "All Hat and No Cattle": Romance, Realism, and Late-19th-Century Western American Fiction (Gary Scharnhorst).
19 The Coyote Nature of Cowboy Poetry (Barbara Barney Nelson).
20 "The Wind Blew Them Away": Folksinging the West, 1880-1930 (David Fenimore).
21 Autobiography (Gioia Woods).
22 Housing the American West: Western Women’s Literature, Early Twentieth Century and Beyond (Cathryn Halverson).
23 The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far from the Tree: Western American Literature and Environmental Literary Criticism (Hal Crimmel).
24 Detective Fiction (Nicolas S. Witschi).
25 The American Western Film (Corey K. Creekmur).
26 Post-Western Cinema (Neil Campbell).
Part IV: Issues, Themes, Case Studies.
27 America Unscripted: Performing the Wild West (Jefferson D. Slagle).
28 Revising Public Memory in the American West: Native American Performance in the Ramona Outdoor Play (Karen E. Ramirez).
29 Omnimedia Marketing: The Case of The Lone Ranger (Chadwick Allen).
30 The Nuclear Southwest (Audrey Goodman).
31 Ranging Over Stegner’s Arid West: Mobility as Adaptive Strategy (Bonney MacDonald).
32 The Global West: Temporality, Spatial Politics, and Literary Production (Susan Kollin).
33 Tumbling Dice: The Problem of Las Vegas (Stephen Tatum and Nathaniel Lewis).
Nicolas S. Witschi is Professor of English at Western Michigan University. A past co-president of the Western Literature Association, he is the author of Traces of Gold: California’s Natural Resources and the Claim to Realism in Western American Literature (2002) and of a Western Writers Series monograph on Alonzo “Old Block” Delano (2006). He is also the co-editor with Melody Graulich of Dirty Words in "Deadwood": Literature and the Postwestern (2013).