Humboldt Journal of Social Relations


The State of Jefferson, a ruggedly beautiful region consisting of swaths of southern Oregon and northern California, is often described as “mythical” or a “state of mind.” Introducing this issue of HJSR, this article lays out the basic regional features of Jefferson—its topography, rurality, traditional reliance on resource-extractive industries, and associations with secessionism—and poses the question: How might we conceptualize the Jefferson as more than just “mythical” or a “state of mind”? In discussing how the region as an object of study has been approached by geographers, the author highlights the importance of enhancing the manner in which Jefferson is narrated. Toward that end, two geographic metaphors are offered to frame understandings and discussions of Jefferson.