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Current Thinking on the Western III

14-15 June 2016 - University of Bradford, West Yorkshire, UK.

A conference convened by Dr Lee Broughton (Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow, University of Leeds) with Dr Mark Goodall (University of Bradford)

Keynote speakers:

Professor Sir Christopher Frayling (Professor Emeritus of Cultural History, Royal College of Art).

Alex Cox (filmmaker (Repo Man, Straight to Hell, Walker, Sid and Nancy) and professor, University of Colorado).

2015-16 is proving to be a significant year for the Western. The Hateful Eight, The Revenant and Bone Tomahawk have all enjoyed critical success and there is every indication that we may be about to enter a period of renewed public interest in the genre. As ever, the genre in all of its multifarious forms continues to inspire new and fruitful avenues of academic research.

This two-day event seeks to draw together international scholars of all levels (independent scholars, postgraduate research students, early career researchers & established researchers) and media practitioners whose work engages with the Western on film.

The two rates for Current Thinking on the Western III are £90 for members of academic institutions and £50 for students and members of the public.

Both rates include:

  • lunch and refreshments on both days
  • entry into the The Good, the Bad and the Ugly 50th anniversary event (evening of 14th June) 
  • entry into the 'Revisiting Cult Westerns II' seminar (teatime on 13th June)

Conference Programme

Current Thinking on the Western III

Pre-Conference Event

'Revisiting Cult Westerns II' research seminar

Monday June 13th 2016

Venue: John Stanley Bell Lecture Theatre, University of Bradford

16:00 – 18:00

Ulrich Bruckner (Explosive Media, Germany): Rediscovering, Restoring and Re-releasing Cult Westerns in the Digital Age

Peter Hanley (Institute of Molecular Cell Biology, Germany): A scientist's approach to documenting Sergio Leone's 'The Good, the Bad and the Ugly', a Western set during the Civil War

Jeremy Wooding (filmmaker):'Blood Moon': Making a Western in the Wild South East of England


Current Thinking on the Western III

Day 1: Tuesday June 14th 2016

Venue: John Stanley Bell Lecture Theatre, University of Bradford


9:00 – 9:30 Registration

9:30 – 9:40 Welcome and Introductions

9:40 – 10:35 Panel 1: The Neo-Western 1

James Shelton (Oxford Brookes University): “We Dug Coal Together”: the Complexity of Antagonism within Justified

Esther Wright (University of Warwick): The 'myth' and 'reality of the Old West': Rockstar Games and Western Authenticity


10:35 – 11:30 Panel 2: The Global Western

Ivo Ritzer (University of Bayreuth, Germany): "Run, White Boy, Run!": Third-World Allegory and the South African Western

Sonja Simonyi (New York University, USA): Spaghetti, Goulash and Polenta: Tracing the Influence of the Italian Westerns in Socialist Era Eastern European Frontier Films


11.30 – 12:00 Tea/Coffee Break


12:00 – 12:55 Panel 3: The Neo-Western 2

David Maguire (University of Bradford): Wanted Undead or Alive: George A. Romero's Zombie Films as Neo-Westerns

Matthew Melia (Kingston University): All at sea: Relocating the Western in Spielberg’s Jaws



12:55 – 13:55 Lunch


13:55 – 14:55 Keynote

Sir Christopher Frayling (Professor Emeritus of Cultural History, Royal College of Art): Zapata-Spaghetti: Reflections on the Italian Western and the Mexican Revolution


14:55 – 15:50 Panel 4: The Classical American Western

Geoff Mann (University of Kent): Roy Rogers' Trigger Finger and the American Civil War

John White (Anglia Ruskin University): Trying to Ameliorate the System from Within: Delmer Daves's Westerns from the 1950s


15:50 – 16:15 Tea/Coffee Break


16:15 – 17:30 Panel 5: Shooting Locations and Notions of Space

Ulrich Bruckner (Explosive Media, Germany): European Western Movie Locations Then and Now

Marco Brunello (Brunez Comics): The Perception of Space from Orlando Furioso to The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Peter Hanley (Institute of Molecular Cell Biology, Germany): The Shooting Locations of Sergio Leone's The Good, the Bad and the Ugly


Evening event


18:45 50th anniversary celebration and screening of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) – (venue: National Media Museum)

18:45 – 19:15 Roundtable and Q&A: Sir Christopher Frayling, Alex Cox, Ulrich Bruckner and Jeremy Wooding

19:15 – 19:30 An introduction to The Good, the Bad and the Ugly by Sir Christopher Frayling


Day 2: Wednesday June 15th 2016

Venue: Cubby Broccoli Cinema, National Media Museum


9:30 – 10:20 Panel 6: The South and South of the Border

Paul Kerr (Middlesex University): "A good idea at the time": Authorship and/or zeitgeist, the making of The Magnificent Seven

Pete Falconer (University of Bristol): The Old West and the Dirty South

10:20 – 11:20 Keynote: Alex Cox (filmmaker and author of 10,000 Ways to Die: A Director's Take on the Spaghetti Western (2009), University of Colorado): Will the Wolf Survive?


11:20 – 11:50 Tea/Coffee Break


11:50 – 13:05 Panel 7: Westerns, Race and Exploitation Films

Mark Goodall (University of Bradford): The Spaghetti Western Aesthetic in the Italian Mondo Film

Lee Broughton (University of Leeds): Rethinking the Representation of Gender and Race in American Exploitation Westerns

Thomas Moodie (University College London): Racial Politics in Quentin Tarantino's Satirical Westerns


13:05 – 14:05 Lunch


14:05 14:55 Panel 8: Contemporary Westerns/Contemporary Concerns

Jenny Barrett (Edge Hill University): A Lonely, Lonely Man: the Immigrant in the Contemporary Western

Jack Weatherston (Northumbria University): Environmental Crisis and Masculine Insecurity in the Contemporary Western


14:55 – 15:25 Tea/Coffee Break


15:25 16:15 Panel 9: Horror Westerns

Jeremy Wooding (Filmmaker): 'Blood Moon': A British Horror Western

Craig  Ian Mann (Sheffield Hallam University): Where the Buffalo Rot: The Horror Western and 'Weird Revisionism'


16:15 – 16:30 Final remarks


Booking is available via the University's on-line e-store

Please note that registration closes on the 22nd of May 2016.

Accommodation and Directions

Local Hotels:

Directions to the University:

John Stanley Bell Lecture Theatre

You can find the JSB Lecture Theatre by taking the entrance marked by the yellow "i", next to Richmond Road, on this campus map and ask for directions at the main reception desk inside.

Further Information

For any queries and further information please contact:

Dr Mark Goodall


Tel: +44(0)1274 236072