This essay highlights several interdisciplinary works about gender, race, and power in U.S. western history that utilize analytic tools generated by women's studies and women's history and considers how these recent works are charting new pathways for future research about U.S. western women's history. The theory of intersectionality, articulated by black women's studies, has been particularly useful in addressing the complexity of how gender, race, and power have informed women's lives in the U.S. West. However, several of the scholars producing this exciting work do not identify or locate their work as U.S. western women's history. One reason may be the existence of an "American western history imaginary," an ideological construct that currently dominates the field and scholarship. The essay addresses what is at stake in challenging this imaginary for U.S. western women's history.
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