The Material-Discursive Spaces of Outdoor Recreation
Rhetorical Exclusion and Settler Colonialism at the Arizona Snowbowl Ski Resort
Keywords:Rhetoric, recreation, tourism, skiing, settler colonialism, cultural geography, critical theory, religion, sacred sites.
In this article, I confront settler colonial practices as they occur in the under-examined spaces of outdoor recreation. ‘Spaces of outdoor recreation’ refers to a theoretical and meaningful interpretation of outdoor recreational spaces that are implicated by both discourse and material reality. I argue that such a theoretical position is necessarily interdisciplinary and crucial to understanding rhetorical exclusion. Using the controversy over development by a ski resort on the San Francisco Peaks, which is held sacred to at least thirteen regional tribes of the southwestern United States, as a case study, I analyze some of the ways rhetorical exclusion is embedded in spaces of outdoor recreation. By revealing the way in which privilege and oppression are constructed in the spatial arrangements of the resort, I argue that this discourse always already works to the benelt of pro-development stakeholders, in this case the Arizona Snowbowl ski resort. By establishing how rhetorical exclusion operates through the ever-expanding spaces of outdoor recreation, I highlight the need for more critical scholarly engagement of such spaces as one of the many communicative practices that maintain settler colonialism.
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