CFP: The Golden Age of the Western
An area of multiple panels for the 2014 Film & History Conference:
Golden Ages: Styles and Personalities, Genres and Histories
October 29-November 2, 2014
The Madison Concourse Hotel and Governor’s Club
Madison, WI (USA)
DEADLINE for abstracts: June 1, 2014

AREA: The Golden Age of the Western

From the late 1920s to the mid-1960s, the Western genre underwent a series of surprising transformations, experiencing a decline, a rebirth, and finally, its Golden Age.  From highly successful traditional “oaters” and musical “horse operas,” Westerns developed into complex, “revisionist” forms during the Cold War that included the noir Western, the cult Western, and the Spaghetti Western. At the same time, the Western also dominated the small screen, its popularity peaking in 1959 when 26 shows were aired on television. 

Why was the Western so popular during this period?  What screen personalities in film and television rose and/or fell with the entrance of sound and Hollywood’s support of the Second World War?  What does the Golden Age of the Western or, arguably, the Golden Age of the Spaghetti Western tell us about American culture?

This area, comprising multiple panels, welcomes proposals on the subject of the Golden Age Western in film and television during Hollywood’s “Golden Age.” Papers and panels may address attitudes, styles, directors, stars, or genres that defined the success of the Western during this period. 

Possible topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

* The Western’s Golden Boys and Gals (John Wayne, Gary Cooper, Glenn Ford, Jimmy Stewart, Barbara Stanwyck, Joanne Dru, Maureen O’Hara, Jean Simmons) 

* Directors of Golden Age Westerns (such as John Ford, Howard Hawks, Anthony Mann, Delmer Daves)

* Poverty Row Studios and B Westerns during the Golden Age  (Ride Lonesome, Decision at Sundown, Outlaw Gold, The Dakota Kid, Hot Lead)

* Scoring the Golden Age Western (Sons of the Pioneers, Dimitri Tiomkin, Jerome Moross, Elmer Bernstein)

* Location Shooting during the Golden Age (Monument Valley, Utah; Apache Junction, Arizona; Red Rock Canyon, Nevada; Lone Pine, California; movie ranches)

* Black Gold: Noir-ish Westerns in the 1950s and 1960s (Bad Day at Black Rock, Devil’s Doorway, The Furies, The Naked Spur, The Tin Star, A Man Alone)

* The Spaghetti Western’s Golden Age (A Fistful of Dollars, Taste of Violence, Death Rides A Horse, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly)

* The Television Western in the Golden Age (The Lone Ranger, Hopalong Cassidy, The Big Valley, Rawhide, Bonanza, High Chaparral)

* The treatment of Native American issues in Golden Age Westerns (Geronimo, The Battle at Apache Pass, Broken Arrow, Hondo, Cheyenne Autumn,)

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. For updates and registration information about the upcoming meeting, see the Film & History website (

Please e-mail your 200-word proposal by 1 June 2014 to the area chair:

Sue Matheson
University College of the North
Email: [log in to unmask]

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