Teaching Western American Literature


Teaching Western American Literature

Edited by Brady Harrison and Randi Lynn Tanglen

Postwestern Horizons Series

348 pages
4 tables, index


June 2020


$30.00 Pre-order

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.


“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

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

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