From: William Denton ( buff@pobox.com)
Date: 28 Nov 2001

Here's something for all you academic essay writers. Paradoxa asked me to forward this along to the list. Note "our expanded view of literary representations of the Western also includes: generic studies paralleling Western themes in hard-boiled detective fiction." We've often talked about the hardboiled/western relationship. If you do decide to do something, a look through the archives might be beneficial.



Paradoxa Call for Papers: "The Western"

            Paradoxa is seeking critical essays for a special issue on The Western in literature, art, film, television, and popular culture. Patterns, plots, tropes, icons, and codes from the Western still pervade American culture, still offer popular imagery of America's historical and political identity, and still meet with hostility and parodic critique here, across our borders, and beyond.
             Paradoxa invites single discipline, interdisciplinary, and comparative essays that reassess the cultural significance of the Western. Theoretical studies of canonical authors who contributed to the mythos of the West, among them Cooper, Harte, Cather, Grey, Wister, and L'Amour, will be considered. We also seek analyses of contemporary portrayals of the West by Sherman Alexie, Thomas Berger, Cormac McCarthy, Larry McMurtry, and Leslie Silko, among others. Our expanded view of literary representations of the Western also includes: generic studies paralleling Western themes in hard-boiled detective fiction, adventure sagas, and science fiction; and discussions of "wild" or urban frontiers in world literature, such as in the works of Paco Ignacio Taibo, Camilo Jose Cela, and this year's Booker Prize winner, Peter Carey. Essays devoted to artistic representation of the West from Bierstadt, Moran, and Remington to R. C. Gorman, T. C. Cannon, and Harry Fonseca will certainly be considered.
            Of course, film studies and revisionist film histories are very much encouraged, especially those which look beyond the Western formula to disclose political, counter-cultural, socio-historical, racial, or gender issues as commentaries upon modern American values. Other film topics might well include: the Western style and vision of a single director Ford, Walsh, Sturges, Mann, Fuller, or Peckinpah, as examples; Western patterns played out in non-Western films, such as The Third Man, Bad Day At Black Rock, or L. A. Confidential; or, Western tropes in Kurosawa's Seven Samurai and Yojimbo, Itami's Tampopo, Leone's spaghetti Westerns, Rodriguez's El Mariachi, or numerous Mexican films of the vaquero style from the 1940s and 50s.
            We are also very interested in a variety of interdisciplinary topics about the Western in American popular culture: its fables from frontier sagas, tall tales, dime novels, and comics; its history re-enacted in Old or Wild West shows, exotic sideshows of indigenous peoples, staged Western battles and gunfights, and museums and tourist attractions devoted to portraying the "real" West; its often peculiar reliance upon gender to depict the land, racial categories and foreign customs, and stock characters from gunslingers to prostitutes; its myths heard again in the music of singing cowpokes, Western swing stars--Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys--and the outlaw subculture of Country Rock; and its style and idiom apparent in the rise and fall of Cowboy Chic, the cowboy icon in advertisement, the tropes of corporate and American expansionism, and political rhetoric and satire. Popularization of Western motifs could also include the wide range of contemporary social issues and Western parodies found in television shows, such as Gunsmoke, Have Gun Will Travel, Maverick, The Wild, Wild West, and Kung Fu.
        Finally, we invite critical essays that challenge assumed notions about the Western rather than rehearse now familiar accounts of its historical, figural, and popular development.

        Deadline for submissions: April 15, 2002.

           Guest Editor for the special issue is Homer B. Pettey, Humanities Program, University of Arizona ( petteyh@u.arizona.edu). Please consult submission guidelines on the inside back cover of the journal, or follow MLA guidelines in terms of general format, citation reference, footnotes, headings, etc. Send three copies, each with an abstract of not more than 300 words on a separate page, to Managing Editor David Willingham, c/o Paradoxa, P.O. Box 2237, Vashon Island, WA 98070 (USA).


William Denton : Toronto, Canada : http://www.miskatonic.org/ : Caveat lector.

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