The Western: Art, Literature, and Film

Friday, October 3, 2014 - 2:00am to 5:00am
Helen S. Schaefer Building Dorothy Rubel Room  1508 E. Helen Street Tucson, AZ 85721

Professor: Homer B. Pettey, Department of English
FRIDAYS 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Unlike other literary and film genres, the Western defines itself geographically, historically, and imaginatively. This course will begin with the West as an imaginative space in early art and photography, looking at Turner’s famous historical thesis concerning the closing of the frontier. We will also view the Western in terms of our knowledge of the genre and its icons in popular culture, literature, and especially film.

Special topics include: land and archetypes; outcasts and pariahs; racism and expansion; women and winning the West; the O.K. Corral gunfight; John Ford and Arizona on film; violence and retribution; the new Anti-Western; and American and global fascination with the West.

Students will watch several feature-length Westerns and discuss them in class, along with short film clips from Westerns adapted from literary and historical texts.

NOTE: This is the first meeting of a 10-week course. 

More information including course fees and how to register can be found online at