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Degeneration of Settler Colonialism in Contemporary Cinematic Depictions of the U.S. West: Introduction

M. Elise Marubbio, Marek Paryż and Matthew Carter


The settler’s situation is underpinned by the fear of having been caught in a process of endless transition, hence the determination to define the parameters of collective sovereignty and to establish a satisfactory existential basis. The sense of uncertainty that underlies the settler’s situation accounts for the necessity of developing power structures that sustain the settler collective’s striving to complete its design, and this triggers a range of conflicts. Repeatedly addressing the eponymous region’s legacy of settler colonialism, film depictions of the American West re-inscribe oppression of racial minorities, sexual abuse, and class exploitation in order to validate the foundational settler-nation myth that consolidates hegemonic forms of racial, economic, cultural, and political power.

Corresponding authors: Prof. Dr. M. Elise Marubbio, Department of American Indian Studies, Augsburg University, CB 115, 2211 Riverside Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55454, USA, Prof. Dr. Marek Paryż, Institute of English Studies, University of Warsaw, ul. Hoza 69, 00-681 Warsaw, Poland, and Dr. Matthew Carter, Department of English, Manchester Metropolitan University, All Saints, Manchester, M15 6BH, UK

Works Cited

Slotkin, Richard (1996). Regeneration through Violence: The Mythology of the American Frontier, 1600–1860. New York, NY: Harper Collins Publishers.Search in Google Scholar

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Published Online: 2020-04-02
Published in Print: 2020-03-26

©2020 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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