Indians Illustrated: The Image of Native Americans in the Pictorial Press

Title

Indians Illustrated: The Image of Native Americans in the Pictorial Press

Creator(s)

John M. Coward

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Alumni

John Coward

Document Type

Book

Publication Date

2016

Description

Book Summary: In Indians Illustrated, John M. Coward charts a social and cultural history of Native American illustrations--romantic, violent, racist, peaceful, and otherwise--in the heyday of the American pictorial press. These woodblock engravings and ink drawings placed Native Americans into categories that drew from venerable "good" Indian and "bad" Indian stereotypes already threaded through the culture. Coward's examples show how the genre cemented white ideas about how Indians should look and behave--ideas that diminished Native Americans' cultural values and political influence. His powerful analysis of themes and visual tropes unlocks the racial codes and visual cues that whites used to represent--and marginalize--native cultures already engaged in a twilight struggle against inexorable westward expansion. Fascinating and provocative, Indians Illustrated reopens an overlooked chapter in media and cultural history.