Visual Representations of Native Americans: Transnational Contexts and Perspectives
We are seeking articles for a forthcoming book on the transnational dimensions of the creation, production, circulation, consumption, reception, and perception of visual representations of Native Americans from the colonial times to the 21st century. The perspective is twofold: we are interested in the cultural function and usage of both American visuals in Europe and visuals produced in Europe for European and/or American audiences. The Indian as image, stereotype, icon, and metaphor was fabricated in a transnational context and needs to be read within the respective cultural, historical, and political contexts.
The first images of Native Americans which crossed the Atlantic set the tone in being rather projections than reflections of America within the European (popular) imaginations of the New World. These early images were reproduced, popularized, played upon, and subverted in illustrated exploration narratives, captivity narratives, travel reports, political cartoons, paintings, frontier romances, dime novels, Buffalo Bill’s Wild West shows, historical reenactments, and in the 20th century most prominently in (Hollywood) movies.
This collection aims to bring together research that attends to local specificity as well as the global—transnational—circulation of a visual image repertoire of Native Americans. Proposals from all disciplines that examine various forms of visuals (engravings; woodcuts; paintings; cartoons; photographs; sculptures; ads; mascots; music videos; comics; video games) in the different media (illustrated books; arts; TV; internet; performing arts; reenactments) are welcome.
Suitable topics and suggestions include, but are not limited to:
· How are “Indian” identities imaged and imagined? What do such visual constructions tell us about the societies which create(d) them? To which ideological uses were visual fabrications of “the Indian” put?
· How are/were American and Canadian paintings, sketches, etc. of Native Americans and First Nation’s Peoples ‘seen’ in Europe?
· Native Americans in popular culture, e.g. television, film, comic books, video/computer games, film,…
· European traditions and conventions in representing and appropriating Native Americans in visual culture
· Selling fantasies of Native Americans, e.g. ads, mascots, music videos,…
· How do various forms of “playing Indian” compare to one another?
· impacts of Native representations in visuals on Native and non-Native culture
· How did transnational representations of Native Americans affect the perception and interpretation of the U.S. from abroad?
Although preference will be given to articles focusing on visuals, we also welcome articles dealing with representations of Native Americans prominent in shaping the various images and imagings of Native Americans.
Deadline: send a short 250-word abstract and a brief CV no later than February 1, 2008 to the editors.
Please feel free to circulate this call for contributors—thanks!
Prof. Dr. Karsten Fitz
Amerikanistik / American Studies
American Studies (Anglistik III)
Schloß EW 260 Mannheim
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