Texas Tech University

Sara L. Spurgeon, Ph.D.

American Literature/Literature, Social Justice, and Environment Program

Email: sara.spurgeon@ttu.edu

Office: 206

Ph.D. University of Arizona
Literature-American West and Southwest

Spurgeon works in literatures of the American West and Southwest, as well as nature/environmental writing, gender studies, and critical indigenous and decolonial theory. She is the author of Exploding the Western: Myths of Empire on the Postmodern Frontier, co-author of Writing the Southwest, editor of the critical anthology Cormac McCarthy, and co-editor of Weird Westerns: Race, Gender, Genre. She has published essays on Ana Castillo, Cormac McCarthy, Brokeback Mountain, and indigenous speculative fiction, comics, and sci fi. She founded and co-directs the Literature, Social Justice, and Environment Program (LSJE) in the Department of English, which includes a graduate concentration and undergraduate minor. In 2019/2020, Spurgeon was a Fulbright Professor of American Literature and Culture at the University of Bergen, Norway.


Dr. Spurgeon's professional headshot

Edited Collections

  • Hellbent for Leather:  Sex and Sexuality in the Weird Western.  Co-editors Michael Johnson, Kerry Fine, and Rebecca Lush.  In progress 
  • Weird Westerns: Race, Gender, Genre.  Co-editors Michael Johnson, Kerry Fine, and Rebecca Lush.  University of Nebraska Press. 2020. 
  • Cormac McCarthy:  All the Pretty Horses, No Country for Old Men, The Road.  Continuum Studies in Contemporary North American Fiction Series.  London: Continuum Publishing Group.  2011.  


  • Exploding the Western:  Myths of Empire on the Postmodern Frontier.  College Station, TX:  Texas A&M University Press.  2005.   
  • Writing the Southwest, revised second edition.  With David K. Dunaway.  University of New Mexico Press.  2003.   
  • Writing the Southwest.  With David K. Dunaway.  New York: Plume/Penguin. 1995.   


  • Ana Castillo:  Western Writers Series (No. 163).  Boise:  Boise State University Press. 2004. (Monograph booklet, 56 pages) 

Recent Articles and Chapters

  • “History and Other (colonial) Fantasies:  Indigenous Time Play in Cleverman."  International Fantasy:  A Reader.  Eds.  Elana Gomel and Danielle Gurevitch.  Palgrave Macmillan.  Due 2022. 
  • “Transnational American Studies, Ecocritical Narratives, and Global Indigeneity:  A year of Teaching in Norway,” Journal of Transnational American Studies, due Spring 2022. 
  • “Indians, Aliens, and Superheroes: Countering Silence and the Invisual in David Mack's Echo: Vision Quest.” Aesthetic Apprehensions: Silences and Absences in False Familiarities. Eds. Lene Johannessen and Jena Lee Habegger-Conti. Lanham, MD:  Lexington Books.  2020. 
  • “Introduction,” Weird Westerns: Race, Gender, Genre. Co-authors Kerry Fine, Rebecca Lush, and Michael Johnson. Eds. Kerry Fine, Rebecca Lush, Michael Johnson, and Sara Spurgeon. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. 2020.  
  • “Indianizing the Western: Semiotic Tricksterism in William Sanders' Journey to Fusang.” Weird Westerns: Race, Gender, Genre. Eds. Kerry Fine, Rebecca Lush, Michael Johnson, and Sara Spurgeon. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. 2020. 
  • "The Removes of Harriot Stuart:  Charlotte Lennox and the Birth of the Western."  Before the West was West, ed. Amy Hamilton and Tom Hillard.  University of Nebraska Press, 2014. 
  • "'The bomb was like the Indians':  Trickster Mimetics and Native Nationalism in Martin Cruz Smith's The Indians Won," American Quarterly, 66.4 (2014): 999-1020. 
  • Interview with Larry McMurtry, Southwestern American Literature, 40.1 (Fall 2014):  47-79. 
  • "Miracles in the Desert:  Literature, Water, and Public Discourse in the American West," ISLE (Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and the Environment). 16.3 (2009)