ENGL 5169-001

Native American and Indigenous Film, Penny Kelsey

This seminar examines contemporary, emergent Native North American film and visualities in relationship to cultures and identities, knowledge and epistemic production, time and indigenous futurisms.  Cultural narratives and tribal knowledges (i.e., “oral traditions”) have played and continue to perform key roles in Indigenous American artists’ creative processes like filmic storyboarding and the resultant visual records; at the same time, indigenous artists seek to continually innovate grounded, local epistemes through endeavors like tribal language adaptations of Star Wars and scifi representations of migration stories in Futurestates.  This seminar begins with mainstream films that seek solely to represent indigenous peoples with accuracy (i.e., Winter in the Blood, Rumble), moves into first-generation independent films (i.e., Shelley Niro’s It Starts with a Whisper (1993)), and focuses largely on recent independent short films of the fictional, documentary, and animated varieties.  Course readings and screenings will include an array of texts by NAIS scholars and theorists and films directed by indigenous filmmakers. Critical methodologies will be gathered from works by First Nations, Native American, Native Hawaiian, and other Indigenous literary critics, historians, and social scientists.

MA Designation: Multicultural/Postcolonial Literature, A (Formalisms), B (Technologies/Epistemologies), C (Bodies/Identities/Collectivities), D (Cultures/Politics/Histories)