Up in Arms: Gun Imaginaries in Texas


Up in Arms provides an illustrative and timely window onto the ways in which guns shape people’s lives and social relations in Texas. With a long history of myth, lore, and imaginaries attached to gun carrying, the Lone Star State exemplifies how various groups of people at different historical moments make sense of gun culture in light of legislation, political agendas, and community building. Beyond gun rights, restrictions, or the actual functions of firearms, the book demonstrates how the gun question itself becomes loaded with symbolic firepower, making or breaking assumptions about identities, behavior, and belief systems.

Contributors include: Benita Heiskanen, Albion M. Butters, Pekka M. Kolehmainen, Laura Hernández-Ehrisman, Lotta Kähkönen, Mila Seppälä, and Juha A. Vuori.
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Benita Heiskanen, Ph.D. (2004), University of Texas at Austin, is Professor of North American Studies at the University of Turku, Finland. Her works include The Urban Geography of Boxing: Race, Class, and Gender in the Ring (New York: Routledge, 2012).

Albion M. Butters, Ph.D. (2006), Columbia University, is a Research Fellow at the John Morton Center for North American Studies at the University of Turku. His research interests include Cultural Studies and the History of Religion.

Pekka M. Kolehmainen, Ph.D. (2021), University of Turku, is University Teacher at the John Morton Center for North American Studies. His dissertation in cultural history examines the use of rock as a political concept in the 1980s and 1990s U.S.
List of Figures
Notes on Contributors

1 Loaded with the Past, Coloring the Present: The Power of Gun Imaginaries
Benita Heiskanen, Albion M. Butters, and Pekka M. Kolehmainen
2 We are Texas Because of Guns: Firearms in Texan and “American” Imaginaries
Laura Hernández-Ehrisman
3 The Founding Fathers in the Temporal Imaginaries of Texas Gun Politics
Pekka M. Kolehmainen
4 “I Forgive Him, Yes”: Gendered Trauma Narratives of the Texas Tower Shooting
Lotta Kähkönen
5 Triggered: The Imaginary Realities of Campus Carry in Texas
Benita Heiskanen
6 Radical Political Imagination and Generational Utopias: Gun Control as a Site of Youth Activism
Mila Seppälä
7 Pro-Campus Carry Video Imaginaries at The University of Texas Austin
Juha A. Vuori
8 Firearms Fetishism in Texas: Entanglements of Gun Imaginaries and Belief
Albion M. Butters
9 Imaging Texas Gun Culture: A Photo Essay
Albion M. Butters, Benita Heiskanen, and Lotta Kähkönen
10 The Explanatory, Social, and Performative Power of Gun Imaginaries
Benita Heiskanen and Pekka M. Kolehmainen

University libraries, scholars, and graduate students in the fields of American Studies, Urban Studies, Gender Studies, Popular Culture Studies, and Security Studies particularly in Europe and North America.
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