Imagining the American West
Wallace Stegner has suggested that the West, "the last, best place," offers the American imagination a "geography of hope." This course will examine both the construction of the West as a place of romance, opportunity and individual freedom and how that idea was alternately sustained or questioned. In doing so, we will explore a selection of the diverse writings on the trans-Mississippi western American experience—exploration literature, the cowboy Western, women's fiction, the "Hollywood" novel, contemporary Native American literature, etc. Readings will be supplemented by a study of relevant painting and sculpture, film, television, and music. Authors may include: Harte, Crane, Twain, Norris, Wiser, Cather, Austin, Steinbeck, West, Stegner, Silko, McCarthy; films by Ford, Peckinpah and Eastwood. (Students who have taken AMLT 0340 Regionalism: The American West are not eligible to register for this course.) 3 hrs. lect./disc.