2011 Winner 2017-05-18T17:30:38+00:00

2011 Winner

Raheja-book-thumbMichelle Raheja (English)

Reservation Reelism: Redfacing, Visual Sovereignty, and Representations of Native Americans in Film


In this engaging account, Michelle H. Raheja offers the first book-length study of the Indigenous actors, directors, and spectators who not only helped shape Hollywood’s representation of Indigenous peoples but also, through their very participation, complicated the dominant, and usually negative, messages about Native peoples in film. Since the era of silent films, Hollywood movies and visual culture generally have provided the primary representational field on which Indigenous images have been displayed to non-Native audiences. As such, these films have been highly influential in shaping perceptions of Indigenous peoples as, for example, a dying race or inherently unable or unwilling to adapt to change. Films with genuinely Indigenous plots and subplots, however, clearly attest a different aspect of Native presence in a culture that largely defines Native peoples as invisible or separate.

In Reservation Reelism, Raheja traces positive representations in film that reflect the complex and vibrant experiences of Native peoples and communities.