EN 6617 3.0 Literature of the American West
Instructor: Art Redding
Office: 208 Stong College ,
Phone: 416-736-2100, ext. 22568
At the heart of American identity, according to Richard Slotkin, is the persistent myth of the frontier, which valorizes violent expansion, rugged individualism, vigilante justice, and freedom. Yet recent historians and writers have criticized and complicated the narrative of heroic individualism, accentuating a more complex, nuanced, and heterogeneous conception of frontiers and border struggles. This course will consider the history, mythology, land, and peoples of the American west as they have been represented in films, fictions, and testimonies that shape our understandings of the contemporary west and America. We will read a diverse array of writers who emphasize traditional and alternative patterns of social inclusion and exclusion, authorized and Creole voices, and the uses and abuses of the open land. We will also examine photography by Ansel Adams, Robert Adams, Larry Clark, and others and listen to a wide range of music (Tex-Mex, Country and Western, Rock, Tribal, Jazz, etc.).
A more detailed course description will be posted shortly.