Unsettling America: The Uses of Indianness in the 21st Century

Unsettling America: The Uses of Indianness in the 21st Century

by C. Richard King Washington State University

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Overview

Unsettling America explores the cultural politics of Indianness in the 21st century. It concerns itself with representations of Native Americans in popular culture, the news media, and political debate and the ways in which American Indians have interpreted, challenged, and reworked key ideas about them. It examines the means and meanings of competing uses and understandings of Indianness, unraveling their significance for broader understandings of race and racism, sovereignty and self-determination, and the possibilities of decolonization. To this end, it takes up four themes:
·false claims about or on Indianness, that is, distortions, or ongoing stereotyping;
·claiming Indianness to advance the culture wars, or how indigenous peoples have figured in post-9/11 political debates;
·making claims through metaphors and juxtaposition, or the use of analogy to advance political movements or enhance social visibility; and
·reclamations, or exertion of cultural sovereignty.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781442216686
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 07/30/2015
Pages: 164
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

C. Richard King is a professor in the Department of Critical Culture, Gender, and Race Studies at Washington State University. He is one of the leading scholars of contemporary American Indian Studies, and he also studies race and ethnicity more broadly. A past president of the Society for the Sociology of Sport, he serves on the editorial board for several journals, including Ethnicity and Race in a Changing World, Journal of Popular Culture, and Society of Sport Journal. King is the author/editor of a number of books, including Team Spirits: The Native American Mascot Controversy (2001, a CHOICE 2001 Outstanding Academic Title), Native Americans in Sports (2003), Animating Difference (Rowman & Littlefield 2010), and The Native American Mascot Controversy: A Handbook (Scarecrow 2010).

Table of Contents

How Indianness Matters Now: An Introduction

I. Old Battles
1. George Bush May Not Like Black People, But No One Gives a Damn About
Indigenous Peoples: Visibility and Indianness after the Hurricanes
2. Embattled Images in the Marketplace: Commodity Racism, Media Literacy, and Struggles over Indianness

II. Ongoing Wars
3. On Being a Warrior: Race, Gender, and American Indian Imagery in Sport
4. Defending Civilization from the Hostiles: Notes on the Ward Churchill Affair
5. Always Enemy Combatants? The Killing of 'sama bin Laden and the Native American Struggle for Humanity

III. New Fronts
6. Borrowing Power: Racial Metaphors and the Struggle Against American Indian Mascots
7. Alter/native Heroes: Native American Books, and the Struggle for Self-Definition
8. De/Scribing Squ*w: Indigenous Women and Imperial Idioms in the United States

Reclaiming Indianness: Notes Toward a Conclusions

What People are Saying About This

Pauline Turner Strong

In this volume C. Richard King offers an incisive analysis of contemporary struggles over “Indian” imagery, exploring examples that range from advertising to sports arenas to the battlefield, from place names to video games to comic books. This theoretically sophisticated yet accessible book explains why struggles over terms, such as “squaw” and depictions of “redskins,” continue to matter in the 21st century. It is a timely and important contribution to the multidisciplinary literature on the cultural politics of Indianness.

Chadwick Allen

Unsettling America introduces readers to the myriad ways old traditions of Indian erasure and Indian stereotyping persist into the twenty-first century and manifest in new forms. As important, it highlights the sophisticated Native critiques and activist responses these colonial discourses provoke.

Debra Merskin

Once again C. Richard King has created a timely and urgently needed book. Unsettling America reflects on the persistence of re-presentations of American Indians in media and popular culture that must be brought in to the light and ultimately changed. This well-written and insightful book should be required reading in ethics, media and communication, and ethnic studies courses.

Joe R. Feagin

C. Richard King offers a brilliant example of depth sociology, digging beneath surface realities of “Indian mascots and other cultural imagery to deeper white-racist oppression of indigenous Americans, past and present. Stealing lands and killing indigenous peoples has long been accompanied with fictional–Indian framing buttressing Euro-Americans’ racial identity and historical rationalizations. King shows, well, how Native Americans’ counter-framing and resistance projects assertively seek to reclaim indigenous images, cultures, and lands away from continuing white-racist oppression.

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