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Download Branding Texas: Performing Culture in the Lone Star State by Leigh Clemons PDF

By Leigh Clemons

Ask somebody to call an archetypal Texan, and you are prone to get a larger-than-life personality from movie or tv (say John Wayne's Davy Crockett or J. R. Ewing of TV's Dallas) or a political candidate with that sure swagger (think LBJ or George W. Bush). that each one of those figures are white and male and bursting with self-confidence isn't any twist of fate, asserts Leigh Clemons. during this considerate learn of what makes a ''Texan,'' she finds how Texan identification grew out of the history--and, much more, the myth--of the heroic deeds played by way of Anglo males through the Texas Revolution and the years of the Republic and the way this id is built and maintained by means of theatre and different representational practices. Clemons seems to be at quite a lot of venues during which ''Texanness'' is played, together with old websites akin to the Alamo, the battlefield at Goliad, and the San Jacinto Monument; museums resembling the Bob Bullock Texas kingdom historical past Museum; seasonal outdoors dramas akin to Texas! at Palo Duro Canyon; motion pictures corresponding to John Wayne's The Alamo and the IMAX's Alamo: the cost of Freedom; performs and television indicates equivalent to the Tuna trilogy, Dallas, and King of the Hill; and the Cavalcade of Texas functionality on the 1936 Texas Centennial. She persuasively demonstrates that those performances have created a Texan identification that has turn into a model, a commodity that may be offered to the general public or even manipulated for political reasons.

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One of the most fascinating shifts in the display’s representation of the Alamo, however, concerns the sanctification of the Alamo after the Texas Revolution. Judging by the information given within the architectural site, the most important thing Texans need to remember about the Alamo after 1845 (when Texas became part of the United States) is its salvation from destruction and transformation into a shrine by the DRT. The Alamo site, then, functions to remind visitors not only of its centrality to Texas cultural memory and national narration but also of the heroic efforts of the DRT to ensure the existence of the space as an eternal monument to Texas liberty.

As does the Alamo, this museum functions as both memorial and tourist attraction. However, the Bullock Museum does not attempt to present a sacred space, sanctified by the deaths of brave fighting Texians; rather, it is an architectural space that reflects the money, power, and political clout available to Bullock because of his background and career connections. As the grandest and most opulent museum in Texas (historical or otherwise), the Bullock Museum performs a national narrative that helps to legitimate “his” museum as the “real” story of Texas.

It is, according to its press, “a riveting recreation of the Texas Revolution and the Battle of San Jacinto. indb 21 6/5/08 8:17:57 AM br a n di ng t e x a s and down the rugged roads of early Texas. ”  The story contains the necessary historical background—Spanish settlement; American immigration; Mexican rule; the tyranny of Santa Anna; the battles at Gonzales, San Antonio, and Goliad; the Runaway Scrape —needed to educate one on the import of the Battle of San Jacinto.  The task of constructing an acceptable version of the narrative was particularly difficult in the case of the Battle of Coleto, site of the Goliad Massacre.

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