In order for history to take place, it takes places. American studies and cultural studies scholars have drawn on the ideas and insights of critical geographers Henri Lefebvre (1991), David Harvey (2000), Yi-fu Tuan (1977), Cindy Katz (2004), Ruth Wilson Gilmore (2007), Laura Pulido (1996), and many others to explore the creative possibilities and the moral meanings attributed to particular spaces and places. The politics and poetics of space permeate the culture of the United States as a nation through moral values that get attached to the open ranges of the western frontier and the far reaches of empire overseas; that contrast the barrio, the ghetto, and the reservation with the propertied and properly gendered suburban home; that juxtapose the finite limits of social space with the infinite possibilities of cyberspace and outer space. In both scholarly research and everyday life, the moral meanings attributed to these spaces and places have often been resolutely and creatively contested.

This essay may be found on page 229 of the printed volume.

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