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The Other Western
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This issue of Transformations seeks submissions from scholars in film and related fields concerning the ‘other’ Western. The ‘other’ Western is the possibilities implied by the Western itself, and how these possibilities might lead in other directions, other pathways. From its beginnings in the silent era, the film Western has always been at the forefront of innovations in cinematography, mise-en-scene, film style and the development of techniques of narration and characterisation. For Jim Kitses, the genre of the Western is
a vital structure through which flow a myriad of themes and concepts. As such the genre can provide filmmakers with a range of possible connections and the space in which to experiment, to shape and define the kinds of effects and meanings they are working towards. (Kitses, Horizons West, New Edition, 2004, p. 10)
The classical Western has been at the centre of the mythologizing of the American project: the taming and conquering of the frontier and the justification of the colonial will against indigenous peoples. The violence of Westerns poses questions concerning the right of land ownership in laws and principles embodied in certain character types and events, reaching into broader issues of politics and identity, and the paradoxes of freedom, individuality and the destiny of peoples beginning to emerge in modern, industrializing new world formations. In this issue we are looking for readings that challenge, re-appraise and subvert this classical position, either by examining the classical Western itself – its hidden contours, narrative aporias and excessive mise-en-scene for instance – or by looking at other ways in which the Western genre and formats have been, and continue to be used in different cultures and social terrains.
Some possible focal points include:
Modifications to the Western as a hybrid form;
We are seeking abstracts of no more than 500 words in the first instance, setting out the focus, general argument and conceptual terrain, as well as the films, television, new media or other textualisations of the Western you will be addressing.
Abstracts due: 1 June, 2013
For submission guidelines and to view Transformations online go to: