This class is a historical investigation into the cultural phenomenon of the Western. Largely a twentieth-century creation, the western came to stand for the larger American story. We will not only examine the important literary and cinematic elements that make up this genre, but, and more importantly, we will also explore how this particular genre evolved and what that evolution has meant twentieth-century American history. Our focus will be on a group of novels and films that continually play with the concept of a “New West”.