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In the novel, ecological disaster is thus understood to include a broad set of concerns such as pervasive racism, ongoing colonialism, and neoliberal economies. The environmental justice movement has brought increased attention to the manner in which ecological issues are often framed in narrow ways by mainstream organizations.

The result is that popular environmentalism frequently ends up excluding people of color and working-class communities by focusing on landscapes of leisure, such as wilderness areas or national parks, rather than the spaces in which humans mostly live and work.

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It contrasts the beauty of the California landscape with the harsh and toxic working conditions of migrant laborers in the Central Valley. The novel contrasts the experiences of two families in LA, the upper-middle-class Mossbacher household with America and Candido Rancon, undocumented workers from Mexico who cross the border in search of better lives. Asian American writers also configure disaster in broader terms by addressing the immigration restrictions that disrupted the development of Asian communities across the West.

In these instances, disaster and western environments are recast and reinterpreted to include larger problems of racial violence, forced labor, and confiscated lands and property, as well as toxic work and living conditions. In Radical Hope: Ethics in the Face of Cultural Devastation , philosopher Jonathan Lear turns to the autobiography of Crow leader Chief Plenty Coups — for the ways it describes the disappearance of bison in the late 19th century as marking the end of a way of life across the Northern Plains.

Offering the concept of radical hope, Lear notes the challenges that appear when the conceptual foundations enabling a population to thrive no longer have meaning and points to the need for developing strategies to better address these crises. As various scholars have pointed out and as some of the literature suggests, many of the popular narratives that have framed the American West do not provide sustainable ecological models for our present condition. While the region in settler colonial contexts has been defined in a contradictory manner as a land of opportunity and promise yet also a place that faces immanent demise, the West has also been understood in a different manner, as a space of diverse stories that address dwelling and encounters, conflict and loss, transformation and recovery, as well as a site of speculation and critical assessment about current and future catastrophes.

In this way, the literature of the West may be recognized as offering competing assessments of and numerous strategies for confronting the environmental disturbances, disasters, and transformations that have altered the region over time. Various fields of study have emerged through an engagement with the literature of the American West.

The rise of the new western history in the s associated with scholars such as Patricia Limerick, William Cronon, Richard White, and Donald Worster redirected studies of the region by pointing to how previous work tended to over-rely on the Turner thesis while underplaying racial differences and the environmental consequences of expansion. Influenced by developments in the new western history, literary critics such as Krista Comer, Neil Campbell, William Handley, and Nathaniel Lewis extended these discussions in their studies of regional literature.

When scholars trace the study of western American literature through the lens of environmental critique, they often note that it was at the annual meeting of the Western Literature Association in Reno, Nevada, that a group of scholars founded the study of eco-criticism, with The Ecocriticism Reader: Landmarks in Literary Ecology , edited by Cheryl Glotfelty and Harold Fromm , as the first significant collection published in the field.

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The region has also played a central role in the transnational turn in American studies. Borderlands criticism, for instance, countered the frontier thesis in focusing on the West as a multicultural space and contact zone. Asian American and indigenous studies scholarship also helped usher in the transnational turn among Americanists. Western Literature Association. Resilience: A Journal of the Environmental Humanities.

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Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment. Adamson, Joni. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, Find this resource:. Allmendinger, Blake, ed. Imagining the African American West. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, Bold, Christine. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Brady, Mary Pat. Campbell, Neil. Comer, Krista.

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Fitzsimmons, Lorna, ed. Asian American Literature and the Environment. New York: Routledge, Frye, Steven, ed. Cambridge, U. Gamber, John. Ethnic Literatures. Goodman, Audrey.


Handley, William R. True West: Authenticity and the American West. Johnson, Michael K. Kollin, Susan. Kollin, Susan, ed. A History of Western American Literature. Lewis, Nathaniel. Unsettling the Literary West: Authenticity and Authorship. Lowe, Lisa. Madsen, Deborah L. Berkeley: University of California Press, Slotkin, Richard.

New York: Atheneum, Steiner, Michael, ed. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, Vizenor, Gerald. Manifest Manners: Essays on Postindian Survivance. David Fernbach London: Verso, , For more on the West as geography in motion, see William R. William R. Amy T. Hamilton and Tom J. David M. Wrobel and Michael S. Steiner Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, McNickle, Wind from an Enemy Sky , 2—3.

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  • Global Trends The Atlantic Council's US Strategy in a Post-Western World - Atlantic Council!
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    • In This Article!
    • A History of Western American Literature!
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    • Late Westerns: The Persistence of a Genre.
    • Post-Westerns?
    • Standing Bear, My People, the Sioux , vii. The irony is that this sequence is dramatically, all but self-consciously counterpoised against the rest of the film, as if the largely static plot that follows were meant as strident contrast to the world here approaching. Another way to understand so dislocating an introduction is that its very intensity alerts us to other discrepancies in a noir Western, a film that consists as much of interior scenes held in medium frame counterintuitively opposed to the genre's characteristic mode as of epic CinemaScope landscapes. And even those views of barren terrain are regularly drab and washed out, evoked in thin sepia tints.

      Characters all men, with one exception rarely move around freely or unconstrained in loose configurations but instead are militantly lined up, found sitting or standing in place against walls and windows, as the camera persistently angles down on the hero, John J.

      Post-Westerns - Neil Campbell - Google книги

      Macreedy Spencer Tracy , placing him in turn in a routinely subservient position. Moreover, Macreedy's strangely enigmatic undertaking, unexplained until late in the film, seems eerily like a mirror image of the town's behavior in safeguarding its own secretive, history-burdened dilemma. In fact, the film's opening introduces the first of various paradoxes, heralding the vibrant, electrifying arrival of an outside world the first time the train has stopped in over four years , only to let off an aged, apparitional figure who seems little different from the ghosts he will soon encounter.

      A specter enters a community of kindred phantoms, who become suddenly animated by his presence even as he embodies a mystery they are increasingly desperate to suppress.

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      As we learn much later, Macreedy has arrived simply to honor his dead army comrade, to deliver the Medal of Honor Joe Komoko earned in saving Macreedy's life to Komoko's father, as a belated gesture of respect. He has no reason to suspect anything untoward has happened until the town's blustering intransigence arouses his suspicions about stories of the elder Komoko's death. None of that is apparent at first, except in the sheer draining away of the opening's profusion — its dynamic orchestral range, its hyped-up visual transitions — as if the wide-open landscape made so familiar by the Western genre were being undone by a noir plot of a shamefully buried past, one that adamantly refuses to stay buried.

      And curiously, when that past is finally laid bare, we discover the Japanese subplot has nothing to do with the whole and does not explain the plot transpositions. For all its lingering power, the Asian backstory unusual as a theme in emerges as merely a Hitchcockian MacGuffin, a past trauma that signals the present's racism and small-mindedness but otherwise contributes little to the film's dynamic strains. The paradox of Bad Day at Black Rock resonates more profoundly in the assortment of strangely dissociated plot materials brought together into a more or less familiar configuration.

      Characters who first appear little more than zombies, devoted to endless, undead behavior, rearrange themselves into patterns that eerily remind us this is a Western. Long before the genre had exhausted familiar possibilities, the film seems prescient in anticipating ways that later Westerns would surprise us into deconstructively imposing remembered paradigms on scenes in order to grasp a narrative trajectory. The formally spectral look of Bad Day confirms this legacy by quietly invoking the genre's more usual visual appeal, if only by contrast with what is here absent or etiolated, the desolate landscapes and washed-out settings.

      And characters function likewise, as perverse deformations silently enforcing a genre from which they so obviously diverge: the lone if elderly and disabled figure unswervingly committed to righting injustice; the craven if perversely powerful community riven by dissension, challenged by external threats; the open if desolate frontier, transforming individuals for the better; and above all, the prospect of starting over again, escaping the past if a past no one acknowledges, so never in fact to be successfully escaped from.

      Each of these gestures seems antigeneric, unsettling us as viewers, since the film's very defiance of familiar patterns makes it slowly recognizable as a Western that focuses on the dynamics of Westerns themselves. Vague quotations from the tradition alert us to that heritage, beginning with the telegraph office placed near the railway station that replicates the recurrent scene in High Noon, with tracks converging toward the horizon — though here as symbol of constraint rather than ready access of violence.

      And Macreedy's stalwart patience in the face of local, browbeating thugs reminds us of countless other Western heroes who have dominated the big screen. More generally, the film arouses expectations for a genre otherwise familiar through costumes, gestures, and attitudes in a distinctive locale rather than for its recognizable plot after all, the initiating event in this case is hidden, arbitrary, finally a lie. The menace of Black Rock the town, its bullying and taunts, expresses a generic motif that seems at once excessive and unearned. No reason exists for this threatening dynamic at the very beginning, at least that we can discern, intimating how fully local spirits embody the very historical self-consciousness that will destroy them.

      The crime that has occurred in the past, that has clearly silenced the present, and that requires a revenant outsider to set a town free: this is the mysterious narrative premise that promises to bring Black Rock alive once again, as it simultaneously signals the dead will at last be allowed to rest in peace. More importantly, the film parades distinctive if mixed generic materials for their own sake: a past revealed by the very energy of making it secret noir?

      Italian neo-realism? Granted, this deconstructive reading of a genre film has become a familiar practice in recent decades, though earlier directors had themselves created films with this in mind, most pointedly John Ford in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, which has long been cited as having initiated the practice.