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Jackson, Peter and Jan Penrose, eds. Constructions of Race, Place, and Nation. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1994.
Jackson and Penrose position this collection of eight essays within a social construction perspective, suggesting that recognizing the socially constructed nature of both “race” and “nation” allows for questioning and subversion of the dominant, hegemonic discourse that views both categories as “natural” or “common sense” (202). While the essays focus on Great Britain, Australia, and Canada, the directions of inquiry—constructions of nation, aboriginality, places of resistance, and politics and position—may be applied with ease to American cultural (landscape) studies as well. Each of the eight essays focuses on the “place-specific ideologies of ‘race’ and nation”, which the editors see as debunking long-held beliefs in race and nation as fixed entities (13). Though perhaps somewhat a given in today’s scholarship, the core arguments of Jackson, Penrose, et al serve as important reminders of the mutability of identity and self-conception, as well as warn against the dangers of assuming cultural, racial, sexual, gender, or spatial homogeneity. [E. White]