American Indians and Popular Culture

by Elizabeth DeLaney Hoffman, Editor


Happily, Hollywood no longer portrays indigenous people by using actors in "redface." Yet racist sports mascots, like Chief Wahoo of the Cleveland Indians, and racist team names, like Washington Redskins, are still acceptable. Whether one is looking at film or literature, sports or politics, does popular culture have any correlation to the reality of American Indian life and achievement?

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Cover image for American Indians and Popular Culture

February 2012


Pages 768
Volumes 2
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Race and Ethnicity/American Indian Studies

Americans are still fascinated by the romantic notion of the "noble savage," yet know little about the real Native peoples of North America. This two-volume work seeks to remedy that by examining stereotypes and celebrating the true cultures of American Indians today.

The two-volume American Indians and Popular Culture seeks to help readers understand American Indians by analyzing their relationships with the popular culture of the United States and Canada. Volume 1 covers media, sports, and politics, while Volume 2 covers literature, arts, and resistance. Both volumes focus on stereotypes, detailing how they were created and why they are still allowed to exist.

In defining popular culture broadly to include subjects such as print advertising, politics, and science as well as literature, film, and the arts, this work offers a comprehensive guide to the important issues facing Native peoples today. Analyses draw from many disciplines and include many voices, ranging from surveys of movies and discussions of Native authors to first-person accounts from Native perspectives. Among the more intriguing subjects are the casinos that have changed the economic landscape for the tribes involved, the controversy surrounding museum treatments of American Indians, and the methods by which American Indians have fought back against pervasive ethnic stereotyping.


  • Contributions from 47 distinguished scholars, writers, performers, and curators—both Native and non-Native—from the United States and Canada
  • Photos of contemporary powwows, historical figures, indigenous architecture, and contemporary and historical art
  • A comprehensive bibliography at the end of each chapter


  • Reflects the reality of Native peoples in the United States and Canada by encompassing a broad array of tribes, languages, and cultures
  • Features contributions from Native authors from the Haida, Lakota, Lumbee, Cherokee, Cree, Isleta Pueblo, Dakota, and Mohawk tribes
  • Balances historical overviews of American Indians in popular culture with discussions of issues facing Native peoples today
  • Provides a comprehensive research tool for undergraduates, graduates, faculty, and general readers
Author Info

Elizabeth DeLaney Hoffman teaches English at Athens Technical College, Athens, GA, and is coeditor of Telling the Stories: Essays on American Indian Literatures and Cultures. She serves on the editorial advisory boards of both the Journal of American Culture and the Journal of Popular Culture. For over a decade, Hoffman was coeditor of the American Indian Studies series for Peter Lang Publishing.



"This compact two-volume set contains essays exploring the wide range of Native American contributions to popular culture in the United States. . . . The series is a good addition to high school, public, and undergraduate libraries."ARBA

"Recommended for public, school, and academic libraries."Library Journal

"This excellent two-volume set comprises 46 essays that cover historical and contemporary American Indian representations in the media, sports, politics, literature, arts, and the civil rights movement. . . . Although there are a number of books on American Indian representations in film, in this collection Hoffman (English, Athens Technical College) offers a richness of approaches to the subject hitherto unavailable in a single volume. The collection is extremely interesting and thought provoking and would be a true asset to any library. Summing Up: Highly recommended."Choice

"Recounting captivating stories of challenge and success, with a focus on the twentieth century, DeLaney Hoff man's American Indians and Popular Culture provides a rich resource for readers curious to learn more about the trajectory of indigenous cultures in the United States."American Indian Quarterly

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Other Titles of Interest

Unconquered cover imageThe Native Peoples of North America cover imageBibliography of Native American Bibliographies cover image
Enduring Legacies cover imageIn Bitterness and in Tears cover imageEpisodes in the Rhetoric of Government-Indian Relations cover image

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