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Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès (Toulouse II-le Mirail)

Playing Pioneer Woman / Margaret D. Jacobs


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Playing Pioneer Woman / Margaret D. Jacobs

Playing Pioneer Woman / Margaret D. Jacobs, in symposium international "Regional Becomings in North America" organisé sous la responsabilité scientifique de Wendy Harding (Cultures Anglo-Saxonnes (CAS), Université Toulouse Jean Jaurès, France) et Nancy Cook (University of Montana, USA), Université Toulouse Jean Jaurès, 7-8 avril 2016.
Session 3 : Defining Place, Defining Self.

In this excerpt from her new book project, Margaret Jacobs considers the making of a western American regional identity through braiding her personal story of growing up in Colorado with a historical analysis of the region. She reflects on the subtle ways that children learn history and gain a sense of belonging to a place through play, music, children’s fiction, dance, and other forms of popular culture. She ponders the ways in which the western history she learned as a girl has underwritten settler colonialism, the removal of Indigenous peoples, environmental degradation, patriarchy, and racial exclusion. This excerpt, “If I Had a Wagon,” riffs on a song that she belted out with great gusto in first grade soon after her family moved to the state: “If I had a wagon, I would move to Colorado.” The song assured Colorado children that “there’s hating and there’s fighting, across the world so wide,” but a “uniting spirit” we would find “at the great Continental Divide.” Thus began her education in becoming a westerner.

 

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