In 1969 Jim Kitses published the seminal work, Horizons West, in which he asserted that “the idea of the auteur does not seem to me to solve all our problems [associated with understanding the Western film] as much as to crystallize them.” Kitses was referring here, and in his subsequently revised and expanded text, to the importance of the auteur as a lens through which to re-examine the generic forms and structures of the Western, its relationship to history, to issues of American identity and values, and to allegorical and mythological understandings of the past and present.
This proposed edited volume will seek to apply the notion of the auteur as method of approaching, problematizing and reconceptualising the Western film. We welcome a wide range of approaches and participation in order to build an innovative and fresh collection of Western essays. We would be especially interested in papers that propose to examine:
- ‘Classical’ Western auteurs (such as Ford, Mann, Boetticher).
- ‘Forgotten’ or under—recognised Western auteurs (such as Dwan, Daves, de Toth).
- Transnational applications of Western tropes (including and looking beyond the contributions of Sergio Leone).
- The applicability of auteur theory to the Western genre in theoretical and methodological terms.
- The ‘contemporary’ auteur and their relationship to the Western, especially those that seek to use the auteur as a means of exploring the re-allegorised meanings of the Western film.
We initially request the submission of an Expression of Interest in the project accompanied by a 300-350 word abstract outlining the proposed contribution that could be made to this collection. Abstracts should be emailed to editors Dr Emma Hamilton and Associate Professor Alistair Rolls at: Emma.L.Hamilton@newcastle.edu.au and Alistair.Rolls@newcastle.edu.au by January 31st 2016, with future dates regarding chapter submission to be advised. Future chapter submissions are expected to be between 5000 - 7000 words in length.