Wednesday, April 06, 2011

The Coen Brothers in San Francisco?

The deadline for paper proposals for the annual conference of the American Academy of Religion came shortly after I'd seen the new Coen brothers' film, True Grit. I was inspired. Unsure whether I'd be able to go to San Francisco in November or not, I pitched a paper. It has been accepted, and I need to confirm with them whether I'm going. See the short abstract below.


"Relative Grit: The Mutual Reshaping of Gender & Honour in Film"
Both the 1969 and 2010 cinematic adaptations of Charles Portis' True Grit portray a feminine infiltration of the masculine wild west. The result is not a conflation of the genders but the revelation of their mutual adaptivity, which has both negative and positive potentiality not only for men and women but for the honour codes of society. This paper will detail these insights based primarily on Joel and Ethan Coen’s recent film, including comparisons with Henry Hathaway’s adaptation and the original novel in order to highlight ways that honour codes, gender, and their dynamic of mutual reshaping have changed (or not changed) in America in the last forty years.
The subtitle needs a bit of work. Anyway, I'm interested in this on two levels. This would be my second essay on a Coen brothers film and I love doing such things. But I'm also always fascinated by societal gender role and identity studies and would love the excuse to go on a side trail from my dissertation for a couple weeks and make sure I get my sociology right. Then again, a couple weeks is a couple weeks, and going to San Francisco isn't cheap. Guess I should have thought of that before. This is a decent academic opportunity though, and I'm excited to have this decision to make.

2 comments:

Brad said...

Congratulations sir! Looking forward to seeing you there.

Jon Coutts said...

Thanks Brad. Same here.