Last week in class our discussion began to center around the idea of the responsibility of public figures, if any, to be politically correct and respectful when in the public eye. The discussion focused on what should these individuals be allowed” to say; is there anything that they should absolutely not say? This topic came […]Read more "Freedom of Expression: What Can We Actually Say?"
This week in class we began our discussion around Sherman Alexie’s book, The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian, the Native American occupation of Alcatraz in the 1960’s, and the representation of Native Americans in museums. We contemplated Sherman’s main character, Junior, and his struggle to find his identity within two worlds. Junior promotes understanding, […]Read more "Censoring Our Free Speech"
The Penn Museum’s current exhibit Native American Voices: The People—Here and Now is a powerful celebration of contemporary indigenous cultures as living, breathing entities. Native American history as commonly recounted in the United States is a tale of woe and loss, framing Native groups as near extinct and struggling to survive. Post-contact Native history is […]Read more "Native American Voices: Come and Listen"
Identity is a combination of many factors, such as family, culture, economic status, and community. Sherman Alexie’s novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian showcases the strong relationship between identity and place; each affect each other and help to shape Junior and his path in life. Junior lives on the Spokane Indian Reservation […]Read more "Competing Identities in Conflicting Spaces"
Alcatraz Island is located 188 miles from my home in northern California. As a child, I visited the site a few times on school field trips, and have since been twice as an adult. Each time I was there I had a positive experience learning about the history of the island, as a prison. What […]Read more "Alcatraz, The Birthplace of the Native American Red Power Movement"
What do you think of when you hear the words “Native American?” Do you imagine a noble warrior with a feathered headdress? A homeless man begging for change and carrying a bottle of cheap whiskey? A spiritual shaman dispensing ancient words of wisdom? A cartoonish sports team mascot? All of the these portrayals are common […]Read more "“A Beautiful and Ugly Thing”: Moving Beyond Stereotypes"
During last week’s class we had an interesting discussion about Hispanic and Latin American immigration and how to tell those stories in museums and historic sites. One of the things that struck me the most about our discussion was the importance of place. On the one hand, I realized how important place was for shaping […]Read more "The Importance of Place"