Tuesday 9/29
Historical Scholarship / Industrial Analysis
Screening: Part of Marlon Riggs Color Adjustment
Bodroghkozy, Is This What You Mean by Color TV- Julia

Thursday October 1


Second part of Color Adjustment

Lecture: History of African American representations in Radio and Television

Tuesday October 6

Zook, “The FOX Network and the Revolution in Black Television”Zooknbc article
Screenings from FOX.

Thursday October 8

See before class: Broken Blossoms and respond to prompt…(link for film inside prompt)

A Certain Slant’: A Brief History of Hollywood Yellowface

Lecture: Orientalism part 1

October 13

See before class (on Reserve in library The Joy Luck Club)


Orientalism Part II

Screenings TBD

October 15

I am the One That I want

October 22

For this class: See Smoke Signals, on reserve

Readings: Churchill, “Smoke Signals: A History of Native Americans in Cinema”
O’Connor, The White Man’s Indian on reserve, read introduction.

Bring Outline and Literature Review to class on October 22 to workshop in class.

Literature Review–at least 5 sources, 1 may be a review of your film or show.

Outline should include scenes you plan to reference, points that support your thesis, and your thesis itself–what do you want to say about this movie or show?

In both the lit review each source should be listed fully (use a style manual) and followed by 3 to 4 sentences what the source offers and how you will use it in your analysis.

Midterm Paper Due October 27: Turn in a print copy, and send it to me as an email attachment– Using historical analysis, consider a media representation from the following list.  Analyze an episode of a television program or film from the past 39  years (1970 – present) representing Native Americans.

Your paper should be 6 pages long you can go to 7 if you want but do NOT turn in 12 pages, etc.)

About half of the paper (3 pages) should be an analysis of the Native American character you are focusing on (or if there are no specific characters, then the tribe or group represented). How are they represented in terms of speech, costume, etc.

The next 3 pages, interpret that representation in a historical context. Is this about representing white settlers as heroic–why might that be important? Is this idealizing Native American culture/s? How? What is the reception history (critic, scholars and general audience). Was this media piece praised or protested or both? By whom, and how?

For a television program, analyze one or two episodes.

Possibilities: Northern Exposure, Little House on the Prairie, Dances With Wolves, Legend of the Fall, Twin Peaks, Pocahontas (Disney)





Consider—how does a character show the traces of  historical representations?

How does the portrayal refute historical images?

You should reference at least two of the readings, but please do not quote at length. Include a works cited list at the end (not part of page limits or requirements).

Paper should be 6  pages Due October 27.

Tuesday October 27
No class today, Instructor is sick. Please turn in hard copy of midterm paper AND send it to me by email, by 5pm Tuesday October 27.

If you have not already seen Smoke Signals, see it today, and respond to prompt under assignments.

Thursday October 29

In class:

Respond to Smoke Signals: How does the film address/respond to/critique stereotypes of Native Americans. You can compare it to the media you addressed for the midterm paper, but be sure to also address Smoke Signals.


5 Responses to “Historical and Industrial Perspectives 2/4-3/1”

  1. Annie Says:

    Smoke Signals both includes and rejects the stereotypes of Native Americans. The father is the ultimate example of the stereotypical Native American due to his alcoholism. The two brothers are somewhat at a crossroads when it comes to being stereotypical Native Americans. It seems as if the movie tries to avoid stereotypes, but cannot avoid them due to the father. The fact that the two brothers view their heritage, however, gives perhaps two varying perspectives of the lives of Native Americans.

  2. Katie Cato Says:

    Smoke Signals addresses various Native American stereotypes in an relatively upfront manner. While Thomas fulfills the stereotypical image of the Indian storyteller, the film pokes fun at that stereotype; for example when he is telling the story of the fry bread, he is serious until the very end of the story which ends on a very humorous note. Also when Victor and Thomas are talking about John Wayne’s teeth on the bus they break into an Indian-style song, but it is obviously not serious because they are singing about teeth. They even joke about how the world sees them by saying such things as “we are Indians, remember. We barter,” as if they have to be reminded how they are supposed to act according to their stereotypical roles. By taking these stereotypes that are meant to seriously portray Native Americans in other films and creating them to be more humorous, more contemporary, and not as true, this film attempts to show that Native Americans are more than their stereotypes; they have stories and other traditions mixed into their culture, but they are not limited to only those images.

  3. Cecilia Hayne Says:

    “Smoke Signals” was interesting to me because while it tried to defy Native American stereotypes, it still managed to perpetuate some of them. Having a relatively inactive reservation goes along with the stereotype that Native Americans are “lazy” and do not care for their land; however, when the brothers leave the reservation it defies the stereotype that Native Americans never leave their reservations and only live in a bubble. “Smoke Signals” is an overall good representation of Native American Indians in today’s society because the characters are able to poke fun at their negative representations in media.

  4. Seychelle Says:

    Smoke Signals portrays Native Americans in a stereotypical way although the film tries to aviod doing so. The father, is the most stereotypical with his alcoholism. However it helped Native Americans become seen in the cinema industry. The film begins to change how the characerization of Native Americans have been made, although it does not completely break the barrier. It is a good representation of Native Americans that does not attempt to overly glorify them, such as Pocahontas.

  5. Kelly Glenn Says:

    Smoke Signals was supposedly a Native American based film, but despite its claim to that, it was a very stereotypical movie. It is seen through various aspects, from the “thick” accents, to the alcholoic father, to singing in an Indian way about teeth, etc. I initially watched this movie in high school for a native american class and drew very similar conclusions here. The only difference I see that now it I start to see how this was the first film to break Native Americans into that industry, as well as, how it is stereotypical but it does allow them to be seen by the public and for people to pay attention. Sometimes, even when in inaccurate, just seeing something can spark an interest and a desire to further explore that situation or culture which is what I think takes place in this instance.

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