Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Alternate auralities on the American frontier: Resounding the Indian in the American Western film
by Niehaus, Emma Elizabeth, M.A., University of Colorado at Boulder, 2016, 59; 10124043
Abstract (Summary)

The Western film presents its viewers with a supposed historical depiction of America’s “Great West,” set during the period of the United States’ westward expansion in the nineteenth century. However, the Western film reiterates a mythologized version of the American West that relies on archetypal themes, events, and characters through the synthesis of story, image and music. This paper examines the Western’s most problematic archetype, the “Indian.” The Indian’s liminal role in American mythology will be examined through the analysis of the aural recoding and obscuring of authentic Native American auralities according to the sonic power structures of the Euro-American soundscape, and subsequently, how this aural recoding informs the role of the “Indian” in three successful Western films from the Western’s heyday, Red River (1948), Broken Arrow (1950), and The Searchers (1956).

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Weber, Beverly
Commitee: Higashida, Cheryl, Lawson, Angelica
School: University of Colorado at Boulder
Department: Comparative Literature
School Location: United States -- Colorado
Source: MAI 55/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Comparative literature, American studies, Native American studies, Film studies
Keywords: Film score, Indian, National myth, Native American, Recoding, Western film
Publication Number: 10124043
ISBN: 978-1-339-82170-2
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