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Pre-July 2009 Press Archives

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4/24/2007 Historian to debunk Native American stereotypes

McMINNVILLE - Phil Deloria, professor of history and director of the Department of American Culture at the University of Michigan, will present "Indians in Unexpected Places" on Wednesday, May 9, at 7 p.m. in Jonasson Hall, lower level of Melrose Hall at Linfield College.

Deloria will focus on stereotypes surrounding Native Americans and show how stereotypes and Indian experiences have competed for ascendancy in the wake of the military conquest of Native America and the nation's subsequent embrace of Native authenticity. During the lecture, Deloria will provide revealing accounts of Indians doing unexpected things - singing opera, driving cars, acting in Hollywood - in ways that suggest new directions for American Indian history.

Focusing on the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Deloria argues that many Indians engaged the very same forces of modernization that were leading non-Indians. He examines longstanding stereotypes of Indians as invariably violent, suggesting that even as such views continued in American popular culture, they were also transformed by the violence at Wounded Knee.

Deloria, who holds a doctorate from Yale University, studies issues of culture and representation, particularly concerning American Indian people, and environmental and Western American history. He is the author of "Indians in Unexpected Places" and "Playing Indian," and coeditor of the "Blackwell Companion to Native American History."

The talk, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the Departments of Education and Sociology. For more information call 503-883-2237.