American Indians in Cinema: Portrayals and Participation, Onscreen and Behind the Scene
The public image of American Indians has been more defined by cinema than that of any other people in history. When one considers, for example, that as many as 25 percent of all films made from 1900 to 1950 were Westerns – which frequently represented American Indians as violent obstacles to progress – the lingering implications are staggering. This conversation, led by cinema scholar Lance Rhoades, will prompt us to address the formidable role cinema has played in producing, perpetuating and challenging perceptions of American Indians, past and present. This subject matter will challenge preconceptions and will raise questions about identity, stereotypes and cinema that have no easy answers.
From Birth of a Nation to Ken Burns: The Civil War in Cinema
The American Civil War has been a perennially popular subject in cinema. The war had been over for less than fifty years when movies began to reach the public on a large scale; many veterans were still alive to see their likenesses captured in celluloid. Over one hundred years later, this near-constant obsession with the Civil War not only reflects the nation’s ongoing attempt to understand a most traumatic period, it also illuminates changing attitudes about national identity and character. For the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, join film scholar Lance Rhoades in a conversation about the cinema the war has inspired and how it reflects changes in our nation.
About Lance Rhoades
Lance Rhoades is a Seattle-based scholar who completed his graduate studies in Comparative Literature and Cinema Studies at the University of Washington, where he has taught several courses on American Indians in Cinema. He has also been a researcher and instructor in the University of Washington American Indian Studies Department and was a recipient of the UW’s Excellence in Teaching Award. Rhoades has presented talks in the Middle East, Asia and Europe on cultural history in film, and each year he teaches a course in the humanities at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is director of film studies at the Seattle Film Institute, a faculty member of the Pacific Northwest Film Scoring Program and a program director for the Mercer Island Library and Arts Council.
Rhoades currently lives in Seattle.
For more information on how to book a speaker, please contact Zaki Abdelhamid at (206) 682-1770 x102 or by email.
What people are saying:
“(This) presentation helped me put many things into perspective as I discuss Indian culture and social issues with those around me.”