Not Corn Pollen or Eagle Feathers: Native American Stereotypes and Identity in Sherman Alexie's Fiction

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Title: Not Corn Pollen or Eagle Feathers: Native American Stereotypes and Identity in Sherman Alexie's Fiction
Author: Miles, John D.
Advisors: Dr. Tom Lisk, Committee Chair
Dr. Carmine Prioli, Committee Member
Dr. Lucinda Mackethan, Committee Member
Abstract: Ward Churchill, Michael Dorris and others have criticized filmmakers and writers alike for their construction of a Native American identity that is, according to Dorris, "lodged safely in the past." Dorris's "Indians in Aspic" and "The Indian on the Shelf" and Churchill's Fantasies of the Master Race identify the notion of the "suspended or static Indian." Coupled with these critical writings, the practice of the use of stock footage in the Westerns of the 1920s and 30s work to create a Native American that is nothing more than a replaying of stereotypes. Sherman Alexie's fiction is aware of the stereotypes that writers and filmmakers, as well as readers, hold regarding Native Americans. In his fiction he works to subvert the stereotypes that others have held and created. His three collections of short stories The Toughest Indian in the World, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven and Ten Little Indians provide examples of his repeated work to undermine the use of Native American stereotypes in film and literature.
Date: 2004-03-17
Degree: MA
Discipline: English
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/1410


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