CANCELED DUE TO WEATHER CONCERNS! “My Indian Dress as a Drawing Card”

December 13, 2010 - 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Speaker: Dr. Scott Richard Lyons, Syracuse University.


Indigenous people in the Americas started living under the shadow of stereotype as early as 1492, and it wasn’t long before Indian imagery began justifying political policies that Indians found objectionable.  To speak back to power, as many Natives did, required one to contend with imagery that persistently figured Indians as violent, subhuman savages.  How did Indian leaders and activists in the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries engage with stereotypes in an effort to free themselves from them?  This presentation will explore some of the ways Indian imagery was used, refigured, and resisted by prominent Native writers and orators engaging colonization and racism.  Sometimes stereotype was embraced as a “drawing card,” as the Sioux writer Zitkala-Sa put it in 1917, to attract an audience for anti-colonial and anti-racist discourse.  FREE TO THE PUBLIC.

Scott Richard Lyons, Leech Lake Ojibwe, is an Associate Professor of English at Syracuse University, where he also directs the Native American Studies program.