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The Nature of California


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A fascinating analysis of the ways in which farming the land has been connected to U.S. citizenship. Wald delivers brilliant new insights from a reading of literary, archival, and popular-culture objects and adds innovative ecocritical and environmental justice lenses to earlier scholarship on farming, citizenship, and labor. -- Noel Sturgeon, author of Environmentalism in Popular Culture Wald skillfully shows how social constructions of race and citizenship have been intertwined with constructions of nature in representations of agriculture in California. -- Douglas Cazaux Sackman, author of Orange Empire By focusing on the work of Mexican, Japanese, and Filipino writers and artists, Wald attributes not only labor but environmental conscientiousness to those who have borne the burden of exploitation in California fields. Here we witness people of color fighting back in the most eloquent way possible-art and the written word. -- Matthew Garcia, author of From the Jaws of Victory

Table of Contents

Introduction | "To the Farmer in All of Us": Agricultural Citizenship as Racial Gatekeeping

1. "Settlers Galore, but No Free Land": White Citizenship and the Right to Land Ownership in "Factories in the Field" and "Of Human Kindness"2. From Farmer to Farmworker: Representing the Dust Bowl Migration3. The "Clouded Citizenship" of Rooted Families: Japanese American Agrarianism in "Rafu Shimpo", "Kashu Mainichi", and "Treadmill" 4. "The Earth Trembled for Days": Denaturalizing Racial Citizenship in Hisaye Yamamoto's Fiction 5. "The American Earth": Reclaiming Land and Nation in "America Is in the Heart" and "Strangers in Our Fields"6. "Elixirs of Death": The United Farm Workers and the Modern Environmental Movement7. Fit Citizens and Poisoned Farmworkers: Consumer Citizenship in the Alternative Food Movement

Epilogue | "Tienes una Madre Aqui": Environmentalism and Migration in the Twenty-First Century

Notes Bibliography Index

About the Author

Sarah D. Wald is assistant professor of English and environmental studies at the University of Oregon.

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