• Richard Wattenberg
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Theatre and Performance History book series (PSTPH)


Since colonial times, the American frontier has provided New World artists and literati especially those in what has become the United States with a rich source of narrative material. Frontier themes and motifs have been a primary focus especially for Euro-American artists and writers in search of a distinctly American experience. Even as events associated with the settlement of the western frontier have slipped further and further into the past, the impact of western frontier imagery on how Americans define themselves has remained. There are numerous instances of the lingering power of the frontier mystique. One might note the periodic resurgence of Western movies exemplified in the early 1990s by such popular and well-received films as Dances with Wolves (1990) and The Unforgiven (1992), as well as the two versions of the Wyatt Earp story, Tombstone (1993) and Wyatt Earp (1994), and in the new century by such highly praised movies as Open Range (2003), 3:10 to Yuma (2007), Appaloosa (2008), and True Grit (2010). One might also consider the successful HBO television series Deadwood, launched in 2004.


Legitimate Theater American Drama Periodic Resurgence Indian Play American Audience 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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    The shift from late-nineteenth-/early-twentieth-century frontier discourse to late-twentieth-/early-twenty-first-century frontier discourse is exemplified by the tension between the “old triumphal frontier history” and the “New Western History” expressed by the likes of Patricia Limerick and Richard White in Trails: Toward a New Western History, ed. Patricia Nelson Limerick, Clyde A. Milner II, and Charles E. Ranken (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1992).Google Scholar
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© Richard Wattenberg 2011

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