Listen to Professor Richard Slotkin's final course before retirement, Western Movies: Myths, Ideology, and Genre. Western movies form the oldest of American film genre. They have also been the most important modern vehicles for one of the oldest and most significant of American cultural myths - the myth of the frontier. The course surveys the development of the Western film genre and sets it in historical and cultural context. In addition to viewing 20 or more feature films, we will study some of the precinematic sources of Western themes and images (novels, paintings). There will also be readings in the history of movies, critical and cultural theory, and political history.
Founded in 1831 in Middletown, Connecticut, Wesleyan University offers instruction in 40 departments and 47 major fields of study to over 3,000 students each year. With a strong emphasis on small classes and an interdisciplinary education, Wesleyan is one of the most respected liberal arts institutions within the United States. Notable alumni include movie director Michael Bay, Bill Belichick, three-time Super Bowl winner and head coach of the New England Patriots, and Tony-award winning compose and lyricist Lin-Manuel Miranda.