Imagining the Big Open
Nature, Identity, and Play in the New West
Edited by Liza Nicholas, Elaine M. Bapis, and Thomas J. Harvey
The American West has long played a role in our consciousness as a place apart, a site of perpetual optimism and romanticism. In Imagining the Big Open a wide range of scholars deftly examine our projections upon and uses of the New West—a projection that not only includes how we imagine the West but how we use Western places. Addressing the history, popular culture, geography, and public policy of the region the contributors unravel our collective psyche where SUVs and REI cards exist in symbiosis with the wilderness movement and Sierra Club memberships.
Elaine Bapis is a doctoral candidate in history at the University of Utah and teaches at Westminster College of Salt Lake City.
Thomas Harvey is a doctoral candidate in history at the University of Utah and a news editor of government and education at the Salt Lake Tribune.
Liza Nicholas lives, writes, and teaches in Bozeman, Montana. Her first book, Culture and the Cowboy State: The Making of Westerners, is forthcoming.
Michael A. Amundson, Northern Arizona University; Elaine M. Bapis; Alicia Barber, Austin, Texas; Lawrence Culver, Los Angeles, California; Robert R. Dykstra, State University of New York, Albany; Thomas J. Harvey; Karen Jones, University of Essex, United Kingdom; Michael Lundblad, Charlottesville, Virginia; Jo Ann Manfra, Worcester Polytechnic Institute; Liza Nicholas; Ken Owens, California State University, Sacramento; Amanda Rees, University of Missouri-Kansas City; Wendy Rex-Atzet, Boulder, Colorado; Gordon Sayre, University of Oregon; Joseph E. Taylor III, Iowa State University; Meredith Wiltsie and William Wyckoff, Bozeman, Montana
Table of Contents:
Foreword ~ Dan Flores
PART ONE: Power Shifts
Regional Unifier or Social Catspaw? A Social and Cultural Historical Geography of Salmon Recovery ~ Joseph E. Taylor III
"Way Out West...Ghost Towns, Gray Wolves, Territorial Prisons & More!" Celebrating the Wolf in the New West ~ Karen Jones
Narratives of Place and Power: Laying Claim to Devils Tower ~ Wendy Rex-Atzet
PART TWO: Playing in the Wild
Patagonia, Gary Snyder, and the "Magic" of Wilderness ~ Michael Lundblad
Urban Climbers in the Wilderness: Mounts Hood, Rainier, and Shasta and the History of Popular Mountaineering ~ Gordon Sayre
Fishing the Hatch: New West Romanticism and Fly-Fishing in the High Country ~ Ken Owens
PART THREE: Making Places
Reinventing Red Lodge: The Making of a New Western Landscape, 1884–2000 ~ Meredith Wiltsie and William Wykoff
Yellowcake to Singletrack: Culture, Community, and Identity in Moab, Utah ~ Michael A. Amundson
From "Last of the Old West" to First of the New West: Tourism and Transformation in Jackson Hole, Wyoming ~ Lawrence Culver
PART FOUR: Choosing Histories
Buffalo Chips or Computer Chips? The Battle over the Future of the Great Plains ~ Amanda Rees
Reno's Silver Legacy: Gambling on the Past in the Urban New West ~ Alicia Barber
Contesting Boot Hill: The Saga of Metaphorical Dodge City ~ Robert R. Dykstra and Jo Ann Manfra
PART FIVE: Deconstructing Sundance
Scripting the West: Robert Redford's Persona and Film ~ Elaine M. Bapis
1-800-SUNDANCE: Identity, Nature, and Play in the West ~ Liza Nicholas
The Sundance Kid and Sundance: The West as Nature ~ Thomas J. Harvey
Praise and Reviews:
"Imagining the Big Open skillfully dissects the warring notions that threaten to rip apart the places and products that define the New West."
—Western Historical Quarterly