Nelson, Barney 1947–

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Nelson, Barney 1947–

(Barbara Nelson)


Born April 20, 1947, in Bellevue, IA; daughter of Dwain W. (a farmer and electrician) and Marjorie M. (a banker) DeGear; married Joel Nelson (a cowboy), July, 1971 (divorced, January, 1990); children: Carla Nelson Spencer. Ethnicity: "White." Education: Sul Ross State University, B.S., 1971, M.A., 1990; University of Nevada, Reno, Ph.D., 1997.


Home—Alpine, TX. Office—Department of Languages and Literature, Sul Ross State University, Alpine, TX 79832. E-mail—[email protected].


Sul Ross State University, Alpine, TX, instructor, 1990-97, assistant professor, 1997-2002, associate professor, 2002-07, professor of languages and literature, 2007—.


The Last Campfire: The Life Story of Ted Gray, a West Texas Rancher, illustrated by Michael W. Capton, Texas A&M University Press (College Station, TX), 1984.

(Editor and photographer) Voices and Visions of the American West, Texas Monthly Press (Austin, TX), 1986.

Here's to the Vinegarron!, Territorial Printer, 1989.

The Wild and the Domestic: Animal Representation, Ecocriticism, and Western American Literature, University of Nevada Press (Reno, NV), 2000.

(Editor) God's Country or Devil's Playground: The Best Nature Writing from the Big Bend of Texas, University of Texas Press (Austin, TX), 2002.

(Editor, with Chelsea Blackbird) Mary Austin's Southwest: An Anthology of Her Literary Criticism, University of Utah Press (Salt Lake City, UT), 2005.

Work represented in anthologies, including Cowboys Who Rode Proudly, edited by J. Evetts Haley, Jr., Haley Memorial Library, 1992; Coyote in the Maze: Critical Essays on Edward Abbey, University of Utah Press (Salt Lake City), 1998; Exploring the Lost Borders: Critical Essays on Mary Austin, edited by Melody Graulich and Betsy Klimasmith, University of Nevada Press (Reno, NV), 1999; Thoreau's Sense of Place: New Essays in American Environmental Writing, University of Iowa Press (Iowa City), 2000; and Pride of Place: An Anthology of Texas Nature Writing, edited by David Taylor, University of North Texas Press, 2006. Contributor of more than 300 articles and photographs to horse and livestock magazines.


Barney Nelson once told CA: "I believe that rural people have not had much voice in current environmental issues. If they have been represented at all, it has been by someone from outside the culture. My goal is to represent that voice from inside the rural culture. My family has been in agriculture for thirteen generations on this continent. (I am a direct descendant of William Bradford.) I have been influenced by Mary Austin and Edward Abbey. My writing process usually involves becoming angry at something that I read in the media and then attempting to ‘set the record straight’ through both scholarly and creative work. I have always chosen rural, ranching, or agricultural topics because that has been my life. I have been a photojournalist for livestock magazines for over thirty years. I think I was the first female to do so, but because I went by the name of ‘Barney,’ scholars who were looking for females in that field did not find me. I hope my writing is progressing from journalistic to literary. That is my current goal."