Session C (4:15-5:30 Thursday)

To return to the conference program page, please click here.


Post-Vietnam Western Imaginations

Chair: Barbara Nelson, Sul Ross State University

Twister Marquiss, Texas State University, San Marcos: “Westward Ho! (Chi Minh): Tim O’Brien and the Demise of the American Cowboy Mythos”

Pat Matteson, Southern Utah University: “Gaping Fish or Chameleon?: Andrew X. Pham’s Cycle of Passage in Catfish and Mandala

Michael Hobbs, Northwest Missouri State University: “West of the Imagination: Walt McDonald’s ‘Aesthetic du Mal’”



The Frontier, the Chicana, and the Third Space: The Discomfort of History and Society

Chair: Andrea Tinnemeyer, Utah State University

Maria C. Gonzalez, University of Houston: “Sexuality and the Chicana Historical Novel: Sor Juana’s Other Dream” 

Elizabeth Kessler Rodriguez, California State University: “Coatlique Reincarnated: Las Artistas Guadalupanas y las Otras”

Anne Perrin, University of Houston: “Soul-Speech: Issues of Performance and Control in the Spiritual Journals of 19th Century Frontier Women”



“Real” Places, Ghost Spaces, and the Problem of Sustainability

Chair: Ann Ronald, University of Nevada, Reno

Cheryll Glotfelty, University of Nevada, Reno: “Urban Environmentalism and Dead Cities: Reading Ghost Towns”

Anna Guiffre, Utah State University: "Bridge Between Troubled Waters: Navigating the Intellectual and Environmental Landscapes of the Dumbarton Bridge."

David G. Jurkiewicz, University of Tulsa: “The Illinois River: Model for Environmental Concerns”



The Regional Politics of Music

Chair: Michon Benson, Rice University

Shawn Holliday, Alice Lloyd College: “Lawson Fusao Inada, West Coast Jazz, and the Politics of Identity Formation”

Richard Hunt, Delaware Valley College: “‘Save a Few for Lefty Too’: The Matter of Judgment in the Songs of Townes Van Zandt”

Philip R. Coleman-Hull, Bethany College: “Lyrical Communication: Sinclair Ross’s Use of Music in Sawbones Memorial



Shane, Jane, The Alamo, and Eminem: Postnational Readings of Hollywood’s Wild West

Chair: Stephen Tatum, University of Utah

Marissa Lopez, University of California, Berkeley: “The Wild, Wild West: Hollywood and Mexican Migrant Labor”

Matt Burkhart, University of Arizona: “Rewriting the West(ern): Shane, Jane, and Agricultural Change in Bharati Mukherjee’s Jasmine

Molly Robey, Rice University: “Eminem Knocks Out Hollywood: Racial Crossdressing, White Adulthood, and the Film Industry”



“All of Us Remembering What We Have Heard Together”: Tensions between Western Narrative Forms and Tribal Storytelling

Chair: Lisa Slappey, Rice University

Bud Hirsch, University of Kansas: “‘A Community of Words’: Self and Story in American Indian Autobiographical Writing”

John Miller-Purrenhage, Michigan State University: “Two Ways of Coming Home in Louise Erdrich’s Love Medicine

Greg Wright, University of Nevada, Las Vegas: “Rethinking Literary Theory in James Welch’s The Heartsong of Charging Elk



Female Mountaineers, Oilmen, and Abbey: Studies in Voice

Chair: Richard Hutson, University of California, Berkeley

Edgar H. Thompson, Emory & Henry College: “The Creation of Voice in Edward Abbey’s Desert Solitaire

Sarah Vause, Utah State University: “Celebration and Sorrow: Women’s Voices in the Literature of Mountaineering”

Dickie Heaberlin, Texas State University, San Marcos: “Metamorphoses: From Cowboys to Oilmen in Western Fiction”



Roundtable: Canonicity, Commercialism, and Hipness in Contemporary Southwestern Literature

Conveners:     David Dunaway, University of New Mexcio

Sara Spurgeon, University of Arizona


The experience of researching and producing a revised edition of Writing the Southwest (2003, University of New Mexico Press) forced this roundtable’s conveners to tackle issues of canonicity and commercial appeal.  What does it mean to be a marginalized writer within a marginalized canon?  Has Western/Southwestern literature now become so hip that it is trendy and not marginal at all?


Discussion:     Audience