Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Film Studies

Reader 1

Thomas Schur

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© 2016 Tamas Hever


This senior thesis has two major purposes: One, to investigate and critique how experts characterize contemporary American post-westerns, second, to demonstrate, and suggest a more inclusive perspective through an analysis of Jim Jarmusch`s Dead Man (1996).Experts from the fields of film and American studies claim that there is a new phase in the genre’s development where post-western films move away from the conventions of the old, racist westerns. Accomplished authors have suggested that these films do not rely on the mythical west or on the regionalist culture but examine the west closely to determine the ways in which it differs from the representations and themes of the classical western. However, the films do not challenge the systematic misrepresentation of the crimes committed against Native Americans during the westward expansion which means that the films have not fully moved away from the old westerns. This cinematic perspective sickens the American conscience through the national narrative, as these films explore the early days of U.S. history. Nevertheless, Jim Jarmusch's Dead Man provides a new, much fuller perspective on the west, and faces the genocidal forces that America has thus far avoided within the western genre. Dead Man is a revisionist western that can help the genre to evolve even further, to include Native Americans and the truth of their history.