Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Pioneer PerformancesStaging the Frontier$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Matthew Rebhorn

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199751303

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199751303.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 27 May 2020

Afterword Brokeback or Bushwhacked

Afterword Brokeback or Bushwhacked

The Legacies of Pioneer Performances

(p.149) Afterword Brokeback or Bushwhacked
Pioneer Performances

Matthew Rebhorn

Oxford University Press

The afterword considers the contemporary legacies of the double genealogies of frontier performance that this project has been charting—Daly's frontier leading to Buffalo Bill and Miller's frontier leading to Gowongo Mohawk—suggesting that these two strands of performance have continued to animate recent representations of the frontier. To illustrate this long history, the afterword considers briefly two recent frontier “performances”: the much vilified, political firestorm of George W. Bush's “brush clearing” in Crawford, Texas, during the summer of 2005 and the much celebrated, cultural touchstone of Brokeback Mountain (2005). Bush's hacking away cedar and mesquite was protested by other Crawford ranchers, criticizing it for its “staginess” and for the harm it was doing to the environment. They rejected one mode of performing the frontier in favor of another, less theatricalized, less reckless one. These juxtaposed pioneer performances are thematized in Ang Lee's film as well, constructing two frontier spaces—one, the idyllic space of queer sensibility at Brokeback Mountain, and the other, the repressive regime of Riverton, Wyoming. Bush's brush clearing and Lee's film suggest that the genealogy of frontier performance has always been a heterogeneous constellation of acts that work both to settle and unsettle American ideologies. Through this give-and-take across aesthetic and political borders, the identity of American performance became the performance of American identity.

Keywords:   performance, buffalo bill, george w. bush, ang lee, brokeback mountain, crawford ranch, queer, sexuality, space, food

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .