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Through a series of Western texts—folkloric, photographic, literary, and historical—Dorst outlines another pattern of looking west, one characterized by optical distortion, faulty vision, and the ambiguous intersection of spectatorship, display, and covert observation. He applies the insights gained from this analysis of discursive patterns to various cultural displays located in the contemporary West.
In a series of ethnographic case studies—two folk art displays, a Western heritage theme park, and Devils Tower National Monument—he shows how this other discourse plays out at actual sites and institutions. In doing so, Dorst offers an account of visual practices that, though dressed in the images and narratives of the American West, are in fact characteristic of our modern consumer culture in general.
|List of Figures|
|1||Short Excursions: Some Moments of Western Looking||13|
|2||Into the West with Gun and Camera: An Excursion in Wister's Visual Moment||40|
|3||"That's What Worries Me, It's Too Quiet": An Ethnographic Excursion||75|
|4||Looking at Looking: A Theoretical and Historical Excursion||96|
|5||Machines and Gardens: Two Cases of Vernacular Display||119|
|6||Over Prison Walls: Display and Ideology at the Wyoming Territorial Park||150|
|7||Monumental Optics: The Visual Management of Devils Tower||192|