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The American West

A group of faculty in the department, closely linked to the Program in American Culture, focus on the American West as a physical, political, and ideological space, significant for its place in national mythology, as a venue for the formation of the American state, and as the meeting ground for indigenous communities and for immigrants from around the world. Our view of this West is capacious, extending from the Old Northwest and Great Lakes north to Canada and south to Mexico. Equally broad are our methodological approaches, which include environmental history, religious studies, culture and politics, ethnohistory, and insights from a range of ethnic studies fields. Faculty research and teaching in this cluster are focused both on the West as an object of regional studies and on the historical trajectories of conquest, colonization, migration, development,  marginalization, and cultural production that have defined so much of the history of the American West and that continue to dominate Western life and politics in the present.