CFP: (Re)Locating the Frontier: International Western Films (edited volume)

CFP logoCinematic representations of the North American West, from the silent era to the present, have played an important role in one of the United States’ core cinematic genres and in the viewing lives of generations of audiences. The Western tradition, however, with its well-worn tropes, readily identifiable characters, iconic landscapes, and evocative soundtracks, is not limited to the United States. Western, or Western-inspired films have played a part in the output of numerous national film traditions, including Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, and Latin America. Considerations of these films, for the most part, have been decidedly U.S.-centric, with discussions of international Westerns typically limited to a small number of Eurowesterns and their directors.

This collection of essays seeks to broaden the scholarly conversation about Westerns by considering films beyond the Hollywood and Spaghetti Western traditions. The editors seek contributions that address a wide range of international Westerns, including their significance, meanings, and reception in their the national industries which gave them form.  How do Westerns not made in the U.S. use the genre for their own purposes? Through what innovations or adaptations is that achieved? In what ways do these films challenge or support the idea of national literatures and cinemas?  How do their narratives negotiate nation, narrative, genre, and their intersection?

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

•        El Topo and the Mexican Weird West
•        Filming The Devil’s Backbone: The Border Frontier
•        Genre Mash-ups in Asian Westerns: Dynamite Warrior
•        The Good, the Bad, and the Samurai Tradition
•        Sounds of the Frontier: Eurowestern Soundtracks
•        Eurowestern Film Cycles: Django Rides
•        Exploring the Ostern: White Sun of the Desert
•        Karl May on Screen: The German Frontier Tradition
•        Her Majesty’s West: Carry On, Cowboy
•        Sholay and Frontier Independence
•        The “Northern”: Hollywood North, or Something Else?

Essays dealing with the Spaghetti Western tradition should approach it from a fresh perspective, not yet represented in the substantial scholarly literature.

Acceptance will be contingent upon the contributors’ ability to meet these deadlines, and to deliver professional-quality work.

Publication timetable:

August 15, 2012 – Deadline for Abstracts
September 30, 2012 – Notification of Acceptance Decisions
February 1, 2013 – Chapter Drafts Due
April 30, 2013 – Chapter Revisions Due
May 30, 2013 – Final Revisions Due
July 1, 2013 – Delivery to Publisher

Please submit your abstracts of 500-1000 words and a brief (1-page) CV via email to both of the editors by August 15, 2012:

Cynthia J. Miller – cynthia_miller@emerson.edu

Bowdoin Van Riper – bvanriper@bellsouth.net