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Countering Captivity in Popular Genres: The Only Good Indian and Older Than America.
Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education.
2013 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This paper examines the appropriation and redirection of the Gothic in two contemporary, Native-centered feature films that concern a history that can be said to haunt many Native North American communities today: the history of Indian boarding schools. Georgina Lightning’s Older than America (2008) and Kevin Willmott’s The Only Good Indian (2009) make use of Gothic conventions and the figures of the ghost and the vampire to visually relate the history and horrors of Indian boarding schools. Each of these Native-centered films displays a cinematic desire to decenter Eurocentric histories and to counter mainstream American genres with histories and forms of importance to Native North American peoples. Willmott’s film critiques mythologies of the West and frontier heroism, and Lightning’s attempts to sensitize non-Native viewers to contemporary Native North American concerns while also asserting visual sovereignty and affirming spiritual values. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Native American film, gothic, indigenous film, boarding schools, captivity
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Specific Literatures
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-25132OAI: diva2:758191
Nordic Association for American Studies Conference (NAAS), Karlstad, May 2013.
Available from: 2014-10-24 Created: 2014-10-24 Last updated: 2014-10-31Bibliographically approved

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Kella, Elizabeth
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School of Culture and Education
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