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March 2012, Week 4


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Cynthia Miller <[log in to unmask]>
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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 21 Mar 2012 22:17:39 -0400
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“Frontier Myth and Iconography in the Wild West”
An area, comprised of multiple panels, for the Film & History Conference on “Film and Myth”
September 26-30, 2012
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
Deadline: June 1, 2012

The myth of the American West is often recognized as a key element in the construction of American national identity, representing a range of sometimes-conflicting values such as rugged independence and ingenuity, bravery, progress, order, and the conquest of nature. Western film and television programs have long been popular means of interpreting, enshrining, and re-visioning the Frontier—its landscape, history, and figures—and the nature and significance of westward expansion. Whether real or fictional, heroes and heroines, gamblers and gunslingers, adventurers and entrepreneurs, all play a role in the construction and promotion of these narratives of land, nation, and cultural identity – as well as in their challenge and reinterpretation.

How do our films and televised series portray this complex site, often glamorized as the Wild West: As a romantic venue for adventure, or a stage for atrocities?  A celebration of technological progress, or a lament for the loss of wide-open spaces?  An affirmation of the triumph of civilization, or a last glimpse of true freedom?  Whose West is the Wildest: Turner’s or Roosevelt’s?  Kennedy’s or Reagan’s? Slotkin’s or Altman’s?  What does it mean when other national cinema’s adapt the myth of the frontier for purposes of their own?

This area, comprising multiple panels, welcomes all aspects of frontier mythology and   iconography in Western films and television programs. Possible topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
•	Lawmen (Wyatt Earp, My Darling Clementine, Bat Masterson)
•	Outlaws (True Story, The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid, Zorro, The Lone Ranger)  
•	Frontier Women (Calamity Jane,  Annie Get Your Gun, Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman )
•	Legends of the Cavalry (They Died With Their Boots On, Fort Apache, She Wore A
        Yellow Ribbon)
•	Range Wars (The Johnson County War, Shane, Oklahoma, El Dorado)
•	The Civil War and the Western (The Horse Soldiers, The Good The Bad and the Ugly, )
•	Border mythologies (The Wild Bunch, The Battle of the Alamo, The Magnificent Seven)
•	Native American mythologies (Geronimo,  Cheyenne Autumn, Little Big Man, Dances 
        With Wolves)   
•	Western iconography

Please send your 200-word proposal by e-mail to the area chair:
Proposals for complete panels (three related presentations) are also welcome, but they must include an abstract and contact information, including an e-mail address, for each presenter. Please e-mail your 200-word proposal by June 1, 2012:

Sue Matheson, Area Chair, 2012 Film & History Conference
“Frontier Myths and Iconography”
University College of the North
Email: [log in to unmask]

Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite