Robert A. Jones '59 Conference Room
148 Hillcrest Road
Middlebury, VT 05753
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Open to the Public

Dr. Edison Cassadore, San Carlos Apache Tribal Member
Faculty for Writing, Tohono O’odham Community College
Tohono O’odham Nation Reservation (Southern Arizona)

At a screening of Skins at a major American university, and in a racially mixed audience, young Indian college spectators found this film unsettling. They deplored the stereotype of drunken Indians and the impoverished economic conditions. These spectators also felt the issues were so deplorable that it should only be viewed by other Indian people. The subtextual message: Keep this film in our own Indian community and contain speaking the truth about reservation life to the dominant structures. The contested reception of Eyre’s Skins (2001) exposes the difficulties faced by recent Indian filmmakers who seek to counter the hegemonic and paternalistic portrayals of Indians in Hollywood films and the mass media. Films like Skins and Imagining Indians represent Native American people with “real” (instead of “reel”) issues concerning ownership of their images and with maintaining tradition and yet seeking innovative ways to survive. Nonetheless, these films, in presenting resistant Native American representations and voices, also, ironically, re-center whiteness-as-sign in terms of the relational logic of racism. The talk will critically evaluate dominant and resistant representations of Native Americans in film and visual media, and how such images can be used as a way to counter and to understand the visual dominance of Hollywood and the effects of internalized oppression.

Sponsored by:
International & Global Studies

Contact Organizer

Hunt, Lily