Once upon a time outside the West : rethinking the western in global contexts
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This project argues for rethinking the western as a global genre, rather than one rooted in a particular construction of the American West. First, by considering the western's global origins through an examination of early cinema, I challenge the singular connection to an American origin. Through tracing an alternative history of the genre in early cinema, we can see that the assumed connections between America and the western can be challenged by way of examples from France, Argentina, and Australia. Moving to the post-war and contemporary periods, this project highlights the popular and political uses of the genre by way of examples from Germany, Latin America, Spain and Italy, and Australia. These case studies identify how considering the western as a global popular genre allows it to address local political concerns across a range of national and transnational contexts. To situate the different contexts, this thesis relies on the broad theoretical framework of transculturation, following Mary Louise Pratt, to consider how the western 'selects' and 'invents' from particular historical, cultural, and political moments, often as part of asymmetrical power relations. Each case study also seeks to provide a theoretical framework specific to the local context, such as the theories and practices of Third Cinema in Latin America, in order to suggest ways of addressing the western outside of Hollywood. By shifting the western away from a central origin point, this thesis shows how the genre becomes meaningful on a global scale in terms of key issues of identity, political critique, and representations of space.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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Embargo Date: Print and electronic copy restricted until 8th July 2019
Embargo Reason: Thesis restricted in accordance with University regulations
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