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Since the 1800's, many European Americans have relied on Native Americans as models for their own national, racial, and gender identities. Displays of this impulse include world's fairs, fraternal organizations, and films such as Dances with Wolves. Shari M. Huhndorf uses cultural artifacts such as these to examine the phenomenon of "going native," showing its complex relations to social crises in the broader American society—including those posed by the rise of industrial capitalism, the completion of the military conquest of Native America, and feminist and civil rights activism. Huhndorf looks at several modern cultural manifestations of the desire of European Americans to emulate Native Americans. Some are quite pervasive, as is clear from the continuing, if controversial, existence of fraternal organizations for young and old which rely upon "Indian" costumes and rituals. Another fascinating example is the process by which Arctic travelers "went Eskimo," as Huhndorf describes in her readings of Robert Flaherty's travel narrative, My Eskimo Friends, and his documentary film, Nanook of the North. Huhndorf asserts that European Americans' appropriation of Native identities is not a thing of the past, and she takes a skeptical look at the "tribes" beloved of New Age devotees. Going Native shows how even seemingly harmless images of Native Americans can articulate and reinforce a range of power relations including slavery, patriarchy, and the continued oppression of Native Americans. Huhndorf reconsiders the cultural importance and political implications of the history of the impersonation of Indian identity in light of continuing debates over race, gender, and colonialism in American culture.
In Mapping the Americas, Shari M. Huhndorf tracks changing conceptions of Native culture as it increasingly transcends national boundaries and takes up vital concerns such as global imperialism, and the commodification of indigenous cultures.
This transnational collection discusses the use of Native American imagery in twentieth and twenty-first-century European culture. With examples ranging from Irish oral myth, through the pop image of Indians promulgated in pornography, to the philosophical appropriations of Ernst Bloch or the European far right, contributors illustrate the legend of "the Indian." Drawing on American Indian literary nationalism, postcolonialism, and transnational theories, essays demonstrate a complex nexus of power relations that seemingly allows European culture to build its own Native images, and ask what effect this has on the current treatment of indigenous peoples.
This book is about transnational and transracial adoption in North American culture. It asks: to what extent does the process of international adoption reflect imperious inequalities around the world; or can international adoption and the personal experiences of international adoptees today be seen more positively as what has been called the richness of “adoptive being”? The areas covered include Native North American adoption policies and the responses of Native North American writers themselves to these policies of assimilation. This might be termed “adoption from within.” “Adoption from without” (transnational adoption) is primarily dealt with in articles discussing Chinese and Korean adoptions in the US. The third section concerns such issues as the multiple forms that adoption can take, notions of adoption and identity, adoption and the family, and the problems of adoption.
Tricksters are known by their deeds. Obviously not all the examples in American Tricksters are full-blown mythological tricksters like Coyote, Raven, or the Two Brothers found in Native American stories, or superhuman figures like the larger-than-life Davy Crockett of nineteenth-century tales. Newer expressions of trickiness do share some qualities with the Trickster archetype seen in myths. Rock stars who break taboos and get away with it, heroes who overcome monstrous circumstances, crafty folk who find a way to survive and thrive when the odds are against them, men making spectacles of themselves by feeding their astounding appetites in public--all have some trickster qualities. Each person, every living creature who ever faced an obstacle and needed to get around it, has found the built-in trickster impulse. Impasses turn the trickster gene on, or stimulate the trick-performing imagination--that's life. To explore the ways and means of trickster maneuvers can alert us to pitfalls, help us appreciate tricks that are entertaining, and aid us in fending off ploys which drain our resources and ruin our lives. Knowing more about the Trickster archetype in our psyches helps us be more self-aware.
This dissertation begins by situating decolonization as a theoretical tool in examining the tribal museum model. It argues that individuals, institutions, and communities engaged in tribal museum projects can uphold and perpetuate past museum methods of exhibition which were and are colonialist in nature. Thus, utilizing the theory of decolonization is important in the examination of two tribal museums; the Osage Tribal Museum, in Pawhuska, Oklahoma and the Museum at Warm Springs in Warm Springs, Oregon. The development of a decolonized tribal museum model is complicated by the notion that to be truly decolonized a colonized community can not be engaged with the very same institutions which have had a hand in their colonization. This dissertation is laid out in the following order: Chapter One examines the colonialist relationship between indigenous nations, museums, and the federal government in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; Chapter Two develops the theory of decolonization as it is understood within the U.S. context and underscores the various ways that two indigenous nations have negotiated these relationships and maintained their respective museums as sites of decolonization; Chapter Three, examines the early history of the Osage Tribal Museum which emerged in 1938 as the first tribal museum to be built by an indigenous nation; Chapter Four explores the Museum at Warm Springs and departs from the previous chapter by describing and analyzing the permanent exhibits and reading them through the lens of decolonization; finally, Chapter Five, draws upon the work of scholars employing the theory of decolonization to their reading of the NMAI. The purpose of this chapter is to illustrate the complex nature of decolonization. That is, that collaboration between the museum profession and indigenous communities is not decolonizing work; rather, it is the overarching goals of community empowerment, truth-telling, and privileging indigenous knowledge that are markers of decolonization. The dissertation concludes by asserting that decolonization as a theory and practice can be empowering to indigenous communities.
How do we explain the persistent preoccupation with American Indians in Germany and the staggering numbers of Germans one encounters as visitors to Indian country? As H. Glenn Penny demonstrates, that preoccupation is rooted in an affinity for American Indians that has permeated German cultures for two centuries. This affinity stems directly from German polycentrism, notions of tribalism, a devotion to resistance, a longing for freedom, and a melancholy sense of shared fate. Locating the origins of the fascination for Indian life in the transatlantic world of German cultures in the nineteenth century, Penny explores German settler colonialism in the American Midwest, the rise and fall of German America, and the transnational worlds of American Indian performers. As he traces this phenomenon through the twentieth century, Penny engages debates about race, masculinity, comparative genocides, and American Indians' reactions to Germans' interests in them. He also assesses what persists of the affinity across the political ruptures of modern German history and challenges readers to rethink how cultural history is made.

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