ABOUT THIS BOOK
Mediating Indianness investigates a wide range of media—including print, film, theater, ritual dance, music, recorded interviews, photography, and treaty rhetoric—that have been used in exploitative, informative, educative, sustaining, protesting, or entertaining ways to negotiate Native American identities and images. The contributors to this collection are (Native) American and European scholars whose initial findings were presented or performed in a four-panel format at the 2012 MESEA (Society for Multi-Ethnic Studies: Europe and the Americas) conference in Barcelona. The selection of the term Indianness is deliberate. It points to the intricate construction of ethnicity as filtered through media, despite frequent assertions of “authenticity.” From William “Buffalo Bill” Cody’s claim, extravagantly advertised on both sides of the Atlantic, that he was staging “true-to-life” scenes from Indian life in his Wild West shows to contemporary Native hip-hop artist Quese IMC’s announcement that his songs tell his people’s “own history” and draw on their “true” culture, media of all types has served to promote disparate agendas claiming legitimacy. This volume does not shy away from the issue of evaluation and how it is only tangential to medial artificiality. As evidenced in this collection, “the vibrant, ever-transforming future of Native peoples is located within a complex intersection of cultural influences,” said Susan Power, author of Sacred Wilderness.