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Ongoing Research in Austrian American Studies

Vol. 4 No. 1 (2022): American Studies as Vulnerability Studies

One Nation Under Many Cowboy Hats: Western Hats and American Studies—A Cultural-Historical Conspectus

August 18, 2020


Commencing with the polemic that "everybody has always worn cowboy hats," this article (re)conceptualizes western hats as significant, signifying, wearable, and thus nomadic manifestations of Americanness. Their material complexity lends itself to thinking through the cultural fabric of Americanness, which, depending on the vantage point, oscillates between dominant and arguably homogeneous permutations of predominately white Americanness, and the checkered, multicultural "felt" that is the American experience at large, and that of the American West in particular.


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