I never set-out to study Los Angeles, but I became a scholar of L.A. because it was important to me to research where I was politically-involved. Not only is L.A. endlessly fascinating, but as a third generation Angeleno, it enabled me to figure out my relationship to place. However, over the last several years, along with my move to Oregon, the scale of my interest has shifted. Besides asking more questions about the nation and the state at the federal level, especially in terms of environmental justice and the white nation, I have also become increasingly interested in the larger western U.S. I have actually long been interested in the southwestern U.S., but Oregon is forcing me to see the west differently, particularly the significance of the Spanish and Mexican empires in shaping contemporary U.S. geographies. Finally, I have begun paying more attention to Mexico, especially the many ways in which the U.S. considers it to be its Other.