The Golden Age of the Western

An area of multiple panels for the
2014 Film & History Conference
Golden Ages: Styles and Personalities, Genres and Histories

List of All Areas Main Conference Page

DEADLINE for abstracts: June 1, 2014

From the late 1920s to the mid-1960s, the Western genre underwent a series of surprising transformations, experiencing a decline, a rebirth, and finally, its Golden Age. From highly successful traditional “oaters” and musical “horse operas,” Westerns developed into complex, “revisionist” forms during the Cold War that included the noir Western, the cult Western, and the Spaghetti Western. At the same time, the Western also dominated the small screen, its popularity peaking in 1959 when 26 shows were aired on television.

Why was the Western so popular during this period? What screen personalities in film and television rose and/or fell with the entrance of sound and Hollywood’s support of the Second World War? What does the Golden Age of the Western or, arguably, the Golden Age of the Spaghetti Western tell us about American culture?

This area, comprising multiple panels, welcomes proposals on the subject of the Golden Age Western in film and television during Hollywood’s “Golden Age.” Papers and panels may address attitudes, styles, directors, stars, or genres that defined the success of the Western during this period.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

Proposals for complete panels (three related presentations) are also welcome, but they must include an abstract and contact information, including an e-mail address, for each presenter. For updates and registration information about the upcoming meeting, see the Film & History website (

Please e-mail your 200-word proposal by 1 June 2014 to the area chair:

Sue Matheson
University College of the North

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