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Preferred Citation: Matsumoto, Valerie J. This project began when George Sanchez and I were asked to organize a program series on the U. The result was the —94 program series, "American Dreams, Western Images: Mapping the Contours of Western Experiences," which featured more than fifty scholars, writers, and poets.
Preferred Citation: Matsumoto, Valerie J. This project began when George Sanchez and I were asked to organize a program series on the U.
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The result was the —94 program series, "American Dreams, Western Images: Mapping the Contours of Western Experiences," which featured more than fifty scholars, writers, and poets. I am grateful to George for his creativity and personals intimate counters salinas under pressure, and thank Peter Reill, Director of the Center for Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Studies, for giving us this opportunity.
I am also indebted to the terrific Center staff and Clark Library staff—including Debbie Handren, Marina Romani, and Lori Stein—for their invaluable support of both the program salinaa the resulting book. Editing the conference volume initiated a personals intimate counters salinas process for which thanks are due. One of the contributors aptly likened editing an essay collection to herding hummingbirds.
I thank Blake Allmendinger for being a dauntless, efficient, and inspired hummingbird wrangler. I am immensely grateful to Marina Romani whose work has been crucial to the completion of this project. Thanks to all the contributing authors for their patience and good will.
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This endeavor has been fueled not only by exciting scholarship but also by great food. Thanks to Gerri Gilliland, whose restaurant Gilliland's wowed us all with personals intimate counters salinas feasts throughout the program series. The delicious meals at Nizam made Blake's and my working meetings there particularly enjoyable. I would like to thank the Center for Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Studies for awarding me an Ahmanson-Getty fellowship in —94; the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, for providing access to materials and a place to do my research; Valerie Matsumoto, for inviting me to her in producing this book; and the scholars I met during my time at the Clark, whose work has inspired me.
Along with Valerie, I would personals intimate counters salinas to thank Monica McCormick for her enthusiastic support of this project. Blake Allmendinger: I like the smell of manure but can't stand the sight of it. The memory of a feedlot can make me homesick for green dung and the nostalgic whiff of ammonia. But when I go home to visit I seldom work in the stables.
Walking behind a horse with a shovel sainas me why I wanted to leave home in the first place. As a member of the English Department at UCLA, I specialize personals intimate counters salinas the field of western American literature, yet I confess that many regional political issues, and even infimate aspects of western history and literature, don't really interest me.
Although I grew up on a ranch, I don't care much for animals. The debate between ranchers and government over the right to lease grazing land leaves me feeling sort of ho-hum. I can never remember the date of the Homestead Act, when pereonals transcontinental railroad was finished, or when the '49ers went West. I know the frontier ended inbut only because it ended in a convenient round.
I thought Cormac McCarthy's All the Pretty Horses romanticized violence and stereotyped Mexicans, and groaned when I learned it was the first installment in a grandiose trilogy. My most cherished possessions are two pairs of cowboy boots, handmade in red alligator and diamondback rattlesnake. intimmate
I hope alligators and rattlesnakes aren't endangered species and here I should say something about natural resources and our precious environmentbut why not be honest? I wanted those boots, I got them, and that's all I care about. Wearing my. I seem transported from Kansas to Oz—to the West of my fantasy. As a gay man who grew up on a ranch where and I'm estimating now only 10 percent of the livestock were thought to be gay, I had few role models and no alternative culture to draw inspiration from.
Feeling alienated by or bored with the West as I found it, I made up a West that was more appealing and personally relevant. It was the West of my imagination, one which questioned western ideals, mythic archetypes, tradition, and received information; one which glorified the marginal and fetishized lntimate that were transgressive, outrageous, or camp.
All of us recognize a West whose history is represented by certain dates and hard facts; whose literary heritage is embodied by a canon of literature; whose images are communally recognized, shared, and experienced; whose geographic identity is sketched as a series of immobile boundary lines. But at counteers same time, personals intimate counters salinas of us makes up the West for ourselves. We interpret historical facts, individually experience works of fiction and film, and transgress those seemingly immobile boundary lines in peculiar, often quite profound ways.
To argue that there is one West, one frontier, or one borderland—that we know where it is and how to make sense of it—is to claim the fragile personas of the Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Valerie Matsumoto: During my childhood in a tiny farming community in the Imperial Valley of California, I did not think of the place I grew up in as the "West.
Many of the farm families—Filipino American, Japanese American, Mexican American, European American—lived in town, our small houses equipped with swamp coolers to alleviate the blistering summer heat. We all shopped at Personals intimate counters salinas Sing Gar's grocery store; the menfolk liked to hang out at the counter of the Hi-Ho Cafe on the main street. The big local event was the annual tomato festival, at which the best of the winter harvest would be as proudly displayed as crown jewels; the featured attractions included arts and crafts exhibits, prize-winning bre and pickles, carnival rides, and contests for both the Tomato Queen and the fastest packer.
The "West," as portrayed in black and white on the one television station we received from Yuma, seemed to be an entirely different place. Comic strips, advertisements, movies, and cartoons transmitted and amplified my impressions of John Wayne leading white pioneers to build a home on the frontier, dramatic cattle drives, cowboys and Indians skirmishing among the cactus. To really be a part of that West, I sensed that one had to ride a horse.
We had a dog, numerous cats, parakeets, turtles, and a pygmy marmoset, but no horse. Popular culture also conveyed the notion that the "West" belonged to a vanished past that had little connection to the people, places, or activities with which I was familiar. Many kinds of migration traversed the landscape of "my" mundane West. Sportsmen from the cities descended upon our town in the autumn to hunt doves. Every summer many of my classmates' families headed to coastal areas with enticing names such as Riverside and Oceanside to do seasonal harvest work.
When the United States and Mexico started the bracero program, workers from the South streamed into our labor camps and fields. Indeed, my family also migrated, spurred by such international developments. By the early s, as more and more Mexican produce entered the United States, many of the small farmers of southern California could no longer compete with the large-scale operations of landowners in Sinaloa and Sonora. Like countless other California dreams, the Matsumoto Brothers' packing-box label "Mr.
Tomato" became a relic of the past. Moving eastward to a larger town on the U. Here traces of the past were layered with the present, in the form of Indian petroglyphs and pottery shards found on local ranch land, and missions such as the ones at Tumacacori and San Xavier del Bac.
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Living on "the border" I gained a sense of boundaries—whether geographical or cultural—as powerful, arbitrary, and shifting. The city I lived in was called Nogales. Actually it is the name of two cities separated by a fence; on the Arizona side live about twenty or thirty thousand residents; on the Sonora side there are some three hundred thousand. Nogales has become a major gateway for commerce and immigration: as hopeful jobseekers and trucks filled with mangos, cucumbers, and bell peppers stream north, American tourists trek south to coastal resorts and Mayan ruins.
When I was a teenager, going "across the line" into the sister city meant a day's shopping trip for ironwood carvings and pan dulce, or to get your high school yearbook photo taken at the only photographer's studio in both Nogaleses. But that line was a blurry one when the annual Cinco de Mayo parade high-stepped through both towns, or when breakages in one Nogales sewer line led to gastroenteritis for people dependent on a linked water system.
A new development has even more alarmingly revealed the artificial nature of geopolitical parameters: Nogales has recently been identified as a site of disease cluster by epidemiologists who suspect that the high incidence of bone marrow cancer and lupus among longtime residents may be traced to. According to the Personals intimate counters salinas Angeles Times, although there are few indications of pollution on the Arizona side, approximately " U.
The concrete-lined Nogales Wash carries a nightmarish mix of raw sewage and toxics from Mexico.
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The arbitrary nature of boundaries particularly struck me when I was an undergraduate at Arizona State University in Tempe, doing research for an honors thesis on Nisei women in central Arizona. At the outset personals intimate counters salinas World War II Japanese Americans were uprooted from their communities in the western coastal states and the southern third of Arizona, which became a deated military zone.
This line, drawn ostensibly to ensure the security intimatte military installations on the south side of the highway, resulted in a bizarre situation. Half of ;ersonals Japanese American community in central Arizona was taken away to the Poston internment camp; the other half remained in their homes for the duration of the war. Families on the north side watched as their neighbors across the street prepared for the uncertainties of life behind barbed wire, in cramped tar-papered barracks furnished with steel army cots.
Only a few yards of dirt and asphalt determined who was dangerous and who was not, whose loyalty could be relied upon and whose not, whose way of life would be sundered and whose spared. The power of such shifting lines continues to shape the contours of the social as well as the physical landscape. Blake: Today, although the West may be settled, its meanings and boundaries remain personals intimate counters salinas and unsealed.
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The United States, while wanting to close its southwestern border to migrants from Mexico, at the same time, in accordance with NAFTA, wants to open its borders to allow a free-flow of sanctioned economic activity. Within the United States the infimate increase in western travel and tourism has forced the national park system to question its regulations and policies. Are the invisible walls surrounding Yellowstone personals intimate counters salinas Yosemite there to preserve nature for the public or to keep people out?
Biosphere 2, a private park and quasi-terrarium—peopled by scientists and salonas by Ed Bass, the famed Texas billionaire—in encountered a similar problem dealing with penetrable boundaries and the contamination of its pristine environment. The Arizona desert's experimental edenic utopia came perssonals grief when alleged saboteurs "breached four of the five sealed doors. The next frontier appears to be cyberspace, the imagined area behind one's computer screen.
The concept of cyberspace as an unfenced range of computer technology, inhabited by cowboys called hackers who rustle information from forms of artificial intelligence, is a western conceit that has been fostered by William Gibson, the author of Neuromancer and the inventor of cyberpunk, as well as by a group of computer professionals who form the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Video voyaging offers the advantages of bodiless anonymity and conceptual freedom of movement while raising fears about the lawlessness that exists in a world of vigilante information-acquisition and piracy.
The West is populated by conservatives who want to seal up its borders in order to protect private property, a "pure" form of life, and national and economic security, as well as by liberals who want to open up borders, welcoming an influx of "aliens" as an opportunity to shake up the old status quo. In recognition of the fact that so many UFO sightings seem to take place in the area, the state of Nevada has just renamed an abandoned road that runs through the desert, dubbing it the Extraterrestrial Highway.
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The debate that informs U. Is there a black or queer western history? Should western scholarship seal itself off from work being done in other fields or should it encourage intellectual interdisciplinarity? Of the twenty contributors to this collection of essays, some, like the Native American writer Louise Jeffredo-Warden, are practicing artists and poets; some, like the culture-critic Mike Davis, teach freelance and write independently.
But most of them work in various departments within academia. Their scholarship—drawing on history and literature, architecture and urban planning, gender and economic theory, race relations and legal codes, personals intimate counters salinas and Catholic Church doctrine, painting and native. Representing a motley assortment of disciplinary perspectives, filtered through the lens of more than one methodology, the essays, as separate fragments of color, combine to form patterns when seen from particular vantage points.
To put it another way, while we have solicited diverse and wide-ranging essays, at the same time we have decided, for the purposes of organization, to classify and arrange them accordingly. In order to map our terrain we have drawn up some boundary lines, dividing the essays thematically into three separate : "Imagining the West," "Crossing Boundaries," and "Creating Community. The act of imagining the West, for example, is a transformative process that involves the mental reconfiguration, and even the physical relocation, of the West on film, in art, and in literature.
Dorothy reimagines the West by traveling from Kansas to Oz, and while no one in this collection travels quite so far afield, several scholars cross geographical borders, comparing the West with the biblical settings of the Middle East and the Cold-War landscape of Russia. As with the act of imagining, the process of crossing boundaries also allows one to create new or to merge existing communities.
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As the final group of essays in this collection will indicate, interethnic rivalries and racial hostilities surface in certain western locations when prejudicial barriers enforcing segregation begin to disintegrate and collapse. Imagining the West is a transgressive act, just as crossing or transgressing boundaries is a creative endeavor leading to the production of personals intimate counters salinas configurations and hybrid communities. Conversely, the most popular icons of westernness for example, works by Albert Bierstadt, George Catlin, and Frederic Remington represent a West intimahe most of us recognize.
The first essay in salibas part, by Patricia Nelson Limerick, addresses the practice of tourism.