What is the Multicultural West?
The Multicultural American West is a resource site for the interactive exchange of ideas, information, and educational tools related to the US West in multicultural and intercultural perspective. We hope to serve high school and college students, teachers, professors and independent scholars with an interest in the multicultural West.
By "multicultural" we mean to stress culture as defined by race, ethnicity, language, and nationhood, but also to include gender, sexuality, class, religion, and other factors as distinct cultural forces.
By "intercultural" we mean to stress the mutual making of culture(s) through contact and conflict, interaction rather than assumed cultural isolation or purity.The West is an extremely rich site for exploring the rewriting of American history as the story of interactions, often tragic, sometimes creative, among a variety of peoples. Our implicit argument, based in the now not so "new western history" (after three decades of revisionist scholarship), is that the "multicultural West" is the only West there has ever been.
This means continuing to challenge conceptions of the "frontier" that have ignored or covered over the indigenous, Spanish and Mexican, women's, queer, Black, and Asian/Asian American histories in which "the West" is not West at all but simply home or "el Norte" or Gold Mountain to the East.
While the West has often been relegated to a 19th century "frontier" past, this site explores the multi- and inter-cultural West in the 20th and 21st centuries as well, looking both at continuities with the past and new cultural configurations at play up to the present.
Our focus is in offering the best set of links to online documents, course syllabi, journals, resource sites, popular culture sites, and other relevant materials regarding the American West as a region. We welcome suggestions for additions and corrections.