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The President Stole Your Land: Public Lands and the Settler Commons

The President Stole Your Land: Public Lands and the Settler Commons Th e President Stole Your Land Public Lands and the Settler Commons April Anson In the United States what constitutes “public lands” has never been stable. Notions of the public and their commons were a fi ckle matter of political contest and power relations before the beginning of what is currently called America. Today, who and what serve to underwrite, defi ne, and profi t from “public lands” is a debate often expressed in cataclysmic language. Militarized government offi cials and extrastate militias extend across our shared social, political, and physical landscapes, as our terrains seem to scar, wither, blis- ter, and combust in ways even our most apocalyptic and dystopic imaginations struggle to comprehend. Can we protect a piece of this world for all of us? Can we fi ght for the land that we live in and love? How do we survive the end of the world that seems so fast approaching? Who are the “we” in these questions? Th e issues that immediately arise in discussions of the commons— namely whose commons and for what purposes— often still assume a public that is, in fact, particular to white settler sub- jects. As a settler scholar raised http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Western American Literature The Western Literature Association

The President Stole Your Land: Public Lands and the Settler Commons

Western American Literature , Volume 54 (1) – Jun 18, 2019

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Publisher
The Western Literature Association
Copyright
Copyright © Western Literature Association
ISSN
1948-7142

Abstract

Th e President Stole Your Land Public Lands and the Settler Commons April Anson In the United States what constitutes “public lands” has never been stable. Notions of the public and their commons were a fi ckle matter of political contest and power relations before the beginning of what is currently called America. Today, who and what serve to underwrite, defi ne, and profi t from “public lands” is a debate often expressed in cataclysmic language. Militarized government offi cials and extrastate militias extend across our shared social, political, and physical landscapes, as our terrains seem to scar, wither, blis- ter, and combust in ways even our most apocalyptic and dystopic imaginations struggle to comprehend. Can we protect a piece of this world for all of us? Can we fi ght for the land that we live in and love? How do we survive the end of the world that seems so fast approaching? Who are the “we” in these questions? Th e issues that immediately arise in discussions of the commons— namely whose commons and for what purposes— often still assume a public that is, in fact, particular to white settler sub- jects. As a settler scholar raised

Journal

Western American LiteratureThe Western Literature Association

Published: Jun 18, 2019

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