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PBK Scholar Discusses American Indians in Popular Culture

January 23, 2014

“At a time of renewed controversy over the use of terms like ‘Redskins,’ ‘Braves’ and ‘Indians’ as team mascots, Philip Deloria helps put these issues in historical and cultural context.” — Kristin Olbertson

A leading scholar in American studies will address what he calls “the curious and painful dynamics surrounding American Indian visibility in popular culture” during a talk at Alma College.

Philip Deloria, this year’s Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar at Alma College, discusses “American Indians in the American Popular Imagination” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 30 in the Swanson Academic Center, Room 113. Admission is free and open to the public.

“In his scholarship, Deloria has demonstrated how Indians, and popular images of Indians, have always been central to American identity,” says Kristin Olbertson, associate professor of history and chapter secretary of Alma College’s Phi Beta Kappa Society. “At a time of renewed controversy over the use of terms like ‘Redskins,’ ‘Braves’ and ‘Indians’ as team mascots, Deloria helps put these issues in historical and cultural context.”

The Carroll Smith-Rosenberg Collegiate Professor from the American Studies Department at the University of Michigan, Deloria has written books, articles, essays and reviews in the fields of American Indian studies, environmental history and cultural studies.

He is the author of two prize-winning books, Playing Indian and Indians in Unexpected Places, and coeditor of The Blackwell Companion to American Indian History.

He also has served as president of the American Studies Association, council member of the Organization of American Historians, trustee of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian and elected member of the Society of American Historians and the American Antiquarian Society. He has a Ph.D. from Yale University.

The Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Program makes available distinguished scholars who visit colleges and universities with Phi Beta Kappa chapters. Alma College is among the 10 percent of all colleges and universities in the nation to hold membership in the Phi Beta Kappa Society, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious undergraduate honors organization.

 

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