No place has probably been more fantasized and imagined than the American West. No territory has probably been more essentialized and generally defined than the American West. No people have probably been more (mis)represented and stereotyped than the American Westerners. No “state of mind” has probably been more shared and acknowledged than that of the American West. The conception of the title of this volume, The Neglected West, originates from the assumption of the existence of a West, as described and imagined previously, but introduces the idea of the existence of other Wests, many Wests, different Wests, neglected Wests. The book has been conceived and designed as a compilation of heterogeneous academic works that attempt to fill some of the voids that the western myth has created. It provides a channel for the many and varied ways that the West has been experienced by individuals, retold by them, and eventually redefined through literature and culture in general. It aims to offer an open, dynamic vision and revision of the modes of expression that have been traditionally linked to the West and the “western” as a valid formula for its portrayal. The volume emphasizes other ways of experiencing the Movement West, its settling and the West itself, devoid of the traditionally accepted, normative, male, cowboy, white experience. Overall, these essays and their authors seek to convey an international, contemporary and revisionist vision/version of the West. One that proves that the cowboy was never alone and his voice was never the only voice.
Amaia Ibarraran is a lecturer at the UPV/EHU since 1999, where she has been teaching contemporary North American Literature and Literature and Minorities. Her research has always been focused on the study of Chicano Literature, and she has published several articles and attended national and international conferences on this field. Her current research deals with the literary production of the new generation of Chicano writers as well as with the study of other forms of artistic and cultural expression produced by the Chicano community.
Martin Simonson studied English philology and translation at the University of the Basque Country in Vitoria, Spain, and holds a Ph.D. from the same university with a dissertation on the narrative dynamics of The Lord of the Rings. He has contributed with essays on fantastic literature in many journals and anthologies, and he has published a full-length study on the interaction of narrative genre in Tolkien’s literature titled The Lord of the Rings and the Western Narrative Tradition (Walking Tree Publishers 2008). He has translated several Swedish novels into Spanish, including the works of Jens Lapidus and Jonas Hassen Khemiri, as well as essays on North American history, such as Nelson Johnson’s Boardwalk Empire. Martin’s current research is focused on American and English nature writing and literature of place. He is currently teaching English and Cultural Studies at the MA programme for comparative literature at the University of the Basque Country.
David Rio is Professor of American Literature at the University of the Basque Country in Vitoria-Gasteiz (Spain). He is the author of El proceso de la violencia en la narrativa de Robert Penn Warren (1995) and Robert Laxalt: The Voice of the Basques in American Literature (2007). He has co-edited Aztlán: Ensayos sobre literatura chicana (2001), American Mirrors: (Self) Reflections and (Self) Distortions (2005), Exploring the American Literary West: International Perspectives (2006) and the special issue of the European Journal of American Studies on “Postfrontier Writing” (2011). He has also published articles on contemporary western American literature, southern literature, and Basque American authors in journals such as Western American Literature, Studies in the Literary Imagination, American Studies International and The International Fiction Review. He is also the general editor of Portal Education series on the American Literary West.
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