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Two Roads Diverge: Route 66, ‘‘Route 66,’’ and the Mediation of American Ruin
Critical Studies in Media Communication (2010)
  • Andrew F Wood, San Jose State University
I explore Route 66 as both a material environment and constellation of media texts, highlighting how contemporary exigencies having inspired the creation of simulations and simulacra of the road. Simulations include reproductions of historical sites and experiences, such as refurbished gas stations and nostalgic performances; simulacra include the construction of conflated geographies that obscure the meaning of ‘‘the real’’ altogether, as seen in the Route 66 Casino Hotel and the movie Cars. Ultimately the question of ‘‘real’’ assumes a central focus in this piece, as it frequently does in research inspired by an omnitopian framework, as today’s Route 66 entrepreneurs create, sell, and enact images of the ‘‘Mother Road’’ to tourists, travelers, and even academics who sometimes prefer inauthenticity to any number of supposedly real histories of the highway.
  • Authenticity; nostalgia; omnitopia; roadside; Route 66; simulacra; simulation
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Citation Information
Andrew F Wood. "Two Roads Diverge: Route 66, ‘‘Route 66,’’ and the Mediation of American Ruin" Critical Studies in Media Communication Vol. 27 Iss. 1 (2010)
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