Film and History Conference (CFP)

“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



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