CFP: The Representation of American Indian Culture as Artifact or Artwork (12/1/05; journal issue)

full name / name of organization: 
Rebecca S. Hernandez

CALL FOR PAPERS: The Representation of American Indian Culture as Artifact or Artwork

We are seeking submissions for a proposed special issue of the American Indian Culture and Research Journal (UCLA) on the theme of "The Representation of American Indian Culture as Artifact or Artwork." This proposed issue seeks to examine the corporeal, temporal, and political dimensions of the relationship between Native American material culture(s) and the public representations of it. Because authority and representation are inseparable, those with the power to define culture are responsible for exhibiting it. The act of representing and how it reflects, distorts, shapes, and invokes a map of Amerindian identity reveals the nexus of concepts through which culture emerges for the exhibitor as well as the exhibited. What does it mean to say that representations are reflections of actual culture? Do representations change when Native people develop and interpret what is being presented? How do representations of American Indians complicate public (non-Native) understanding !
 of the culture(s) or components of culture? The central concern of this issue will be to problematize the alliance between culture and the visibility brought about by representation.

Submissions are sought that articulate the relationship between representation and/or display of Native American culture(s) in terms of public space, including but not limited to museums, galleries, and forums for public art. Possible topics might include: the limits of representation in the public arena; the problems inherent in representing hybridity, impurity and syncretism; analysis of contemporary exhibiting strategies in Indian country; the place of mythical ideals in representations of Native America and the sublimity of engaging that ideal; how representations of Native Americans engage the viewer and (dis)function as cultural identifiers; and the regimes of knowledge or modes of social interaction created by representations of American Indians. Submissions from any disciplinary field will be considered.

Please email a 500-word abstract and brief bio to Rebecca Hernandez at by December 1, 2005. If accepted for inclusion, complete papers are due no later than February 1, 2006.

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Received on Thu Nov 03 2005 - 12:46:39 EST