Discussion Questions: ALL THAT GLITTERS by Clare Sears

1. One point that Sears addresses is that “[…] cross-gender practices did not pose a challenge to normative gender boundaries but somewhat paradoxically participated in producing heteronormative white ‘American’ masculinity.” What do they mean by this claim? (p.384).

2. In 1887, W.P. Bennett  illustrated an image of a “[…] male miner, dancing in a skirt, [and] appeared alongside scenes of mining, gambling, and crossing the plains” (392).  This was a recreation of James Hutching’s letter-sheet The Miners’ Ten Commandments. What influenced Bennett to depict the gold rush miners in this way?

3. When Sears analyzes mass migrations of California’s gold rush, he insists that all migration histories should have a framework that “trans-es” their histories. Why should we analyze gender, sexual, and racial politics when analyzing migration? (p. 398).

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