David J. Weber (Obituary)

From the Dallas Morning News (click on excerpt for link to the whole article):

David J. Weber was among the first scholars to focus on the importance of the relationship between Mexico and the United States.

A dedicated Southern Methodist University history professor, he taught in the classroom until the end of the 2010 spring semester despite battling cancer.

Dr. Weber, 69, died Aug. 20 at a hospital in Gallup, N.M., near his summer home.

“As a historian, he was at least a generation ahead of his time in recognizing how entwined Mexico and the United States were and are,” said Benjamin Johnson, an SMU history professor.

Cowboy Love (CFP)

This looks like a fun panel. Who is your favorite cowboy couple?

Call for Papers
‘Cowboy Love ‘
2010 Film & History Conference: Representations of Love in Film and
November 11-14, 2010
Hyatt Regency Milwaukee

AREA: Cowboy Love

Is love on the frontier the stuff of social and spiritual transcendence,
as the Women’s Temperance League insists in John Ford’s town of Tonto, or
is it merely a matter of lust in the dust? Long before the release of
Brokeback Mountain (2005), Cowboy Love was a complicated, and often
conflicted, subject in Western film. Cowboys who would never run from a
fight often run from love, and for good reason: Love in Western films
often demands settling down — the taming of the frontier spirit — making
it one of the most hazardous activities in the Wild West.

This area, comprising multiple panels, welcomes papers and panel proposals
that investigate any aspect of the torturous and titillating subject of
Cowboy Love. Possibilities include, but are not limited to, the following

Classic cowboy couples (Marshal Dillon & Miss Kitty; Roy Rogers &
Dale Evans)
More Than Just Saddle Pals (Brokeback Mountain, Red River)
Interracial Romance (My Darling Clementine, Northwest Mounted
John Wayne’s Women (Stagecoach, Rio Bravo, Rooster Cogburn and the
Love and the Lawman (High Noon, My Darling Clementine, Unforgiven)
Domesticating the Cowboy (The Magnificent Seven, The Cowboys)
Cowgirls Get Their Man (Cat Ballou, McCabe and Mrs. Miller, True
Grit, 40 Guns)

Please send your 200-word proposal by e-mail to the area chair:

Dr. Sue Matheson
University College of the North
The Pas, Manitoba
smatheson@ucn.edu (email submissions preferred)

More on True Grit

Thanks to Pam’s post on the forthcoming Coen Brothers film True Grit (a new adaptation of the novel rather than a remake of the 1969 film), I’ve been thinking about the original True Grit film with John Wayne, which I don’t believe I’ve seen in many a year. It was a kick to look back at the trailer of the film.

I remember True Grit vividly as one of the first (if not the very first) “adult”movies (that is, not a film intended for children) that I saw. Having looked back at the trailer, I realized, however, that while my memory of the experience is vivid, I recognized very few of the details. In fact, as with many movies from my childhood, I actually remember the Mad magazine parody (dubbed True Fat: “I’m looking for a man with true fat”) in more detail than the actual film.

Through the magic of wikipedia, I came across a list of Mad magazine movie parody titles, which had several cleverly re-titled famous westerns:
Hah! Noon
Cheyenne Awful
Botch Casually and the Somedunce Kid
A Fistful of Lasagna
The Misery Breaks
The Shootiest
Mild Mild Mess

Coming Attractions: True Grit

Those interested in the contemporary western can mark their calendars for roughly late December, depending on where you live and what kind of theaters are available in your town. The Coen Brothers will release their version of True Grit. In a recent Entertainment Weekly, Matt Damon who plays the Texas Ranger, stated, “The only reason I know that I’m playing Glen Campbell’s old part is that people keep asking me if I’m going to be singing in the movie. But our movie is totally different. Joel and Ethan just stumbled on the book and were like, ‘Oh God, this is terrific. The dialogue is just fantastic!'”

Jeff Bridges will star as Rooster Cogburn.

Nanny McPhee vs Dirty Harry

‘There’s something in Nanny McPhee that I imbibed from Clint Eastwood and his ilk. Nanny is sort of Shane, really. —Emma Thompson

In an earlier post, we noted an interview with actress Emma Thompson, in which she credited Clint Eastwood and westerns in general for the inspiration for the character Nanny McPhee. Looking at clips from the recently released Nanny Mcphee Returns, I think you really can see Thompson channeling Eastwood in her portrayal of the character. Just for fun, compare and contrast:

Getting to Prescott for the WLA Conference

Getting to the Prescott

August 8, 2010
Undoubtedly many of you are making your plans to join us in Prescott for WLA’s 45th annual conference. There are three options if you wish to travel by air: the first is through Phoenix Sky Harbor; from there, you may rent a car or take advantage of Shuttle U’s special WLA round-trip rate from the airport to the Prescott Resort. You can reach Shuttle U at 1-800-304-6114; mention WLA for $50 roundtrip rate. http://www.shuttleu.com/. It’s about 90 miles from the airport to the Prescott Resort.
Second, the regional carrier Great Lakes Airlines flies direct into Prescott from a few major hubs, including Ontario and Denver. http://www.flygreatlakes.com/.   Finally, if your travel plans include visiting the Grand Canyon and you would like to fly into Flagstaff (about 75 miles northwest of Prescott), book with US Airways.
WLA field trips
Arizona is home to several world-class tourist destinations you won’t want to miss while you are here for WLA’s 45th annual conference. I am pleased to announce two field trip opportunities to the Grand Canyon state’s unique natural and cultural treasures. Both trips are scheduled to depart from the Prescott Resort at approximately 12:15 pm on Saturday, October 23rd. You will travel roundtrip on Shuttle U’s comfortable 13-seater vans with professional drivers.
Arcosanti http://www.arcosanti.org/ is an experimental town in the high desert of Arizona. Built according to architect Paolo Soleri’s theory of “arcology,” (architecture + ecology) Arcosanti is a living example of sustainable community. You will take a comfortable shuttle to the beautiful urban laboratory, be greeted there with a tour of the extensive, fascinating grounds, and have the opportunity to eat at the café and experience this amazing place on your own. Arcosanti is about 45 minutes from Prescott. This trip will return to the conference hotel by about 5:30. $35 per person.
Grand Canyon Village, a 90-minute drive from Prescott, is located on the south rim of the Grand Canyon. Your driver will stop first at Hermit’s Rest, architect Mary Colter’s 1914 canyon-side masterpiece http://www.nps.gov/archive/grca/photos/colter/index.htm. Look for other Colter buildings as you stroll the rim of the majestic canyon. This field trip allows you enough time to eat at the one the rim’s fine restaurants and catch a breathtaking sunset before heading back to Prescott at 7:00pm. $45 per person.
If you are keen on planning a do-it-yourself trip, I recommend a ride on the Grand Canyon Railway http://www.thetrain.com/. If you wish to visit one of the charming nearby cities, consider historic downtown Flagstaff http://www.flagstaffarizona.org/, artsy Jerome http://www.azjerome.com/, or majestic Sedona http://www.visitsedona.com/. Finally, Prescott is located nearby several beautiful, family-friendly national monuments like Montezuma’s Castle http://www.nps.gov/moca/index.htm.