About the Book
Regions connect and divide us even as global economies, weather, and germs batter us. Historians, literary scholars, and social scientists use region to ground and challenge ideas about national belonging. In Reconsidering Regions in an Era of New Nationalism Alexander Finkelstein and Anne F. Hyde have assembled leading scholars of regionalism to discuss the relationship of region to nation.
The contributors explore how historical forces have changed regional associations and how regional associations have changed culture and history. The themes of culture, space, and institutions organize this volume: contributors historicize how race and racial thinking have evolved as a major force to define region and nation over time; the essays raise questions about the stability and validity of “canonical regions” in U.S. history to find new complexity in how these blocs form and how they understand themselves; and they focus on historicist and conjunctural trends and how institutions and ordinary people shape regional identities through politics and cultural change throughout history. Challenging ideas about both national belonging and local association, the contributors emphasize how regional analysis deepens understanding of migration, race, borders, infrastructure, climate, and Native sovereignty.
Alexander Finkelstein teaches at Western Colorado University. He has published articles with the Journal of Gilded Age and Progressive Era and Southern California Quarterly. Anne F. Hyde teaches at the University of Oklahoma. She is the author of Empires, Nations, and Families: A New History of the North American West, 1800–1860 (Nebraska, 2011), winner of the Bancroft Prize in American History and finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in History.
“The meaning and significance of region and regionalism is momentous in these times of factionalism; this investigation gives us new insights into regionalism and its importance, and it does so with some especially innovative approaches and prisms. . . . This volume is distinguished by the uniform strength of the research and source bases for each piece.”—William F. Deverell, director of the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
Introduction: Why Regions
Anne F. Hyde and Alexander Finkelstein
Part I: Culture
Chapter 1: Many Southerners, Many Souths: The New Beginnings of a Regional History
Chapter 2: Get Farther East Than You Are
Chapter 3: Where in the World is Hawai‘i? Shifting Geographies of the 50th State
Chapter 4: Sounds of Black Internationalism: Reimagining Regions through Anti-Apartheid
Part II: Space
Chapter 5: The Significance of Climate in American History: Inventing, Imagining, and Erasing Regions
Chapter 6: ‘The United States Gains Nothing by the Proposed Guarantee to Mexico’: The Water Treaty of 1944, the International Boundary and Water Commission, and Regional Planning in the Rio Grande Borderlands
Chapter 7: The Formation of Midwestern Regional Identity
Jon K. Lauck
Chapter 8: Spatial Survivance: Haudenosaunee Active Presence in the U.S.-Canadian Borderlands
Part III: Institutions
Chapter 9: Growing up American: The Children’s Aid Society and the American West
Courtney E. Buchkoski
Chapter 10: Where the East Peters Out: Dallas, Fort Worth, and Regional Branding in the Great Southwest
Jimmy L. Bryan, Jr.
Chapter 11: Local Identities and National Highways: How Roads Deepened and Diluted Historical Regionalism