Teaching Western American Literature


Teaching Western American Literature

Edited by Brady Harrison and Randi Lynn Tanglen

Postwestern Horizons Series

336 pages
4 tables, index


June 2020


$30.00 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

June 2020


$30.00 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

June 2020


$30.00 Add to Cart

About the Book

In this volume experienced and new college- and university-level teachers will find practical, adaptable strategies for designing or updating courses in western American literature and western studies. Teaching Western American Literature features the latest developments in western literary research and cultural studies as well as pedagogical best practices in course development. Contributors provide practical models and suggestions for courses and assignments while presenting concrete strategies for teaching works both inside and outside the canon. In addition, Brady Harrison and Randi Lynn Tanglen have assembled insights from pioneering western studies instructors with workable strategies and practical advice for translating this often complex material for classrooms from freshman writing courses to graduate seminars.

Teaching Western American Literature reflects the cutting edge of western American literary study, featuring diverse approaches allied with women’s, gender, queer, environmental, disability, and Indigenous studies and providing instructors with entrée into classrooms of leading scholars in the field.

Author Bio

Brady Harrison is a professor of English at University of Montana. He is the author of The Dying Athabaskan and Agent of Empire: William Walker and the Imperial Self in American Literature. Randi Lynn Tanglen is an associate professor of English and director of the Robert and Joyce Johnson Center for Faculty Development and Excellence in Teaching at Austin College.


"Harrison (Univ. of Montana) and Tanglen (Austin College) have gathered an impressive selection of essays on teaching western American literature. They focus primarily on pedagogy, ranging from general education classes to writing classes at multiple levels. The exploration of the pedagogical practices can be extended to various courses in a variety of disciplines. The contextual subject matter is as enlightening as the pedagogical. The 13 essays are arranged in four categories: 'Teaching the Literary Wests'; 'Affect, Indigeneity, Gender'; 'Place and Regionality'; and 'Hemispheric/Global Wests.' The investigations are intersectional and include issues relevant to African American studies, American studies, border studies, critical race theory, cultural studies, disability studies, ecocriticism, gender studies, global studies, and, perhaps most important, human rights. The collection is timely in that it uncovers and discovers an American past that has been elided by the popular narratives of Hollywood and television. These narratives form the West in the American imagination as a trope of expansion and accumulation rooted in property and propriety, and manifest in the individual. The 'American West' in this collection is multivalent, with narrative borders beyond imagined walls."—R. T. Prus, Choice

“A rich volume. . . . It provides teachers with valuable insight into how classroom teaching is informed by and sometimes advances scholarly conversations about western literature specifically and literary studies more generally, while also providing excellent practical strategies that readers can use to enhance student learning and engagement in their own classrooms.”—Jennifer S. Tuttle, coeditor of Charlotte Perkins Gilman: New Texts, New Contexts

Teaching Western American Literature will appeal to anyone involved in teaching western American literature at the post-secondary level, from the graduate student teaching a course for the first time to the seasoned instructor curious about how their teaching practice fits into the broader landscape or just looking for fresh ideas.”—Victoria Lamont, author of Westerns: A Women’s History

Table of Contents

List of Tables
Introduction: Teaching Western American Literature
Brady Harrison, University of Montana, and Randi Lynn Tanglen, Austin College
Part 1. Teaching the Literary Wests
1. Teaching the Popular Western in the Second-Level Writing Course
Chadwick Allen, University of Washington
2. Quirky Little Things and Wilderness Letters: Using Wallace Stegner to Teach Cultural Studies and the Responsibilities of Citizenship
Melody Graulich, Utah State University
3. Teaching the Black West
Kalenda Eaton, University of Oklahoma, and Michael K. Johnson, University of Maine–Farmington
Part 2. Affect, Indigeneity, Gender
4. Gender, Affect, Environmental Justice, and Indigeneity in the Classroom
Amy T. Hamilton, Northern Michigan University
5. Teaching Queer and Two-Spirit Indigenous Literatures, or The West Has Always Been Queer
Lisa Tatonetti, Kansas State University
6. An Interdisciplinary Approach to Teaching Gender in Western American Literature
Amanda R. Gradisek and Mark C. Rogers, Walsh University
Part 3. Place and Regionality
7. Moving Beyond the Traditional Classroom and So Far from God: Place-Based Learning in the U.S. Southwest
Karen R. Roybal, Colorado College
8. Quotidian Wests: Exploring Regionality through the Everyday
Nancy S. Cook, University of Montana
9. Western Writers in the Field
O. Alan Weltzien, University of Montana Western
10. Placing the Pacific Northwest on the Literary Map: Teaching Ella Rhoads Higginson’s Mariella, of Out-West
Laura Laffrado, Western Washington University
Part 4. Hemispheric/Global Wests
11. National, Transnational, and Human Rights Frames for Teaching María Amparo Ruiz de Burton’s The Squatter and the Don
Tereza M. Szeghi, University of Dayton
12. Able-Bodies, Difference, and Citizenship in the West: Teaching James Welch’s The Heartsong of Charging Elk in a Global Context
Andrea M. Dominguez, DeVry University, San Diego
13. Teaching Western Canadian Literature in the Croatian Context: A Case Study
Vanja Polić, University of Zagreb

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