UPDATED DEADLINE: SEPTEMBER 30,2009
The wilderness has long been conceived of as a space of individuation, a testing ground for the independent seeker, and an "outside" to the protection, as well as the surveillance and discipline, of the dominant social order. In the United States, wilderness has also been seen as constitutive of a kind of national exceptionalism and a formative element of a uniquely "American" character. With the twentieth century the established conflation of "the west" with "the wilderness" deepened, and a tendency to conflate both with masculinity grew as well. And yet, a feminine gendering of the wilderness and an association of womanhood with the natural world has a long and complicated history in America.