Middlebury
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AMST1012

The West on Film

Hollywood’s West: The American West on Film
From its beginnings the Hollywood western has presented an imaginative geography, a powerful popular fantasy expressing deep truths, and perhaps still deeper desires about American identity. Initially the western reasserted 19th century America’s optimistic vision of manifest destiny; ultimately, many westerns challenged that optimism, often explicitly presenting racial, sexual, and political tensions. Over time, westerns have been re-defined, re-invented and expanded, dismissed, re-discovered, and spoofed. Working with a broad range of films, including Stagecoach, High Noon, Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, Unforgiven, Lone Star, Blazing Saddles—and perhaps even the recent Cowboys vs. Aliens—we will explore the ways in which westerns have both shaped and reflected the dominant social and political desires and anxieties of their respective eras.
Subject:
American Studies
Department:
Program in American Studies
Division:
Interdisciplinary
Requirements Fulfilled:
ART NOR WTR

Sections

Winter 2013

AMST1012A-W13 Lecture (Evans)