Welcome to Chase County XTK

Sliced Osage Oranges (Maclura) Isolated on White
Sliced Osage Oranges (Maclura).  Though not native to the Flint Hills, settlers brought these trees to the region both to form windbreaks and to demarcate their property, to the point that they are now ubiquitous in the area.

What you have landed on is a collaborative blog involving what I hope will be numerous students in the semesters to come as they engage with and write papers in response to various aspects of William Least Heat-Moon’s 1991 “deep map” of Chase County, Kansas, PrairyErth,  and facilitated by me, John Buaas, their instructor and a professor of English at Butler Community College in Kansas.  It is my hope that anyone interested in the Flint Hills of central Kansas, the challenges of contemporary rural and agrarian American life, ideas of place, and the pleasures and challenges of teaching big, sprawling books in Freshman Composition classes, as well as any number of other topics I could name, will find much to read and enjoy here.

As I write this post, the site is still under construction; substantive amounts of writing, for example, won’t begin appearing under the tabs you see in the header until the semester is well underway.  I invite you, though, to look at “About this blog” for some further explanation about this blog’s aspirations.  In the days and weeks to come, I will be posting links to maps and data about Chase County that I hope my students (and, of course, visitors to this blog) will make use of.

Again, welcome.  I hope you will make a return visit.

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