Prairie Public NewsRoom
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

June 26, 2022: "What is a Western?" Author Josh Garrett Davis

Discussion with Josh Garrett Davis of his book, "What Is A Western?"

From the introduction:
Say, "It’s a western” and what do you think? John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, North Dakota’s Louis L’Amour, Deadwood? What about Cowboy Bebop, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, or Anishinabe hip hop performers?

These are the kind of questions Josh Garret Davis writes about in his book of essays, “What is a Western?” He works at the Autry Museum of the American West, in Los Angeles, though he grew up down in Pierre, South Dakota. He headed east to college – Amherst, Columbia, PhD at Princeton, from which he turned back toward the west. He now has an impressive title at the Autry Museum -- he is the Gamble Associate Curator of Western History, Popular Culture and Firearms.

As you’ll hear, he had to run a film series of "westerns" and people got to arguing over what qualified, which got him on to this topic. HumanitiesND brought him in for a webinar to talk about his book for the One Book One North Dakota series. By the way, he was very ably interviewed by Rebecca Chalmers, but because of how the internet recording worked, I’ll be paraphrasing her questions. She started by asking how he got turned back to the west.

Related Content