The Bumper Stickers of Erasure: Fostering Idaho Cultural Intimacy through Vernacular Practice

Kimberly Marshall (University of Oklahoma)

Colorful bumper stickers in the shape of Idaho are ubiquitous in the state’s capitol city of Boise. But while the silhouette remains consistent, the variation contained within this portable symbol is multivocal, contradictory, artistic, political… and often outdoorsy. As a vernacular practice, they allow for a kind of “folk political debate” (Salamon) about what Idaho means and what it means to be Idahoan. This paper analyzes a field collection of over 300 Idaho-shaped bumper stickers, attending carefully both to what is asserted about Idaho and to what is erased, a critique that re-centers peripheral narratives about Idaho as Native land.

Part of 05-08 Sounding Board I, Friday, October 14, 10:30 am–12:30 pm