Little Big Man (Historical Context and Commentary)

Transcription

Little Big Man (Historical Context and Commentary)
Little Big Man
Historical Context/Cultural Commentary
Little Big Man
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Questions to consider
Is the movie an allegory and / or critique of American
society and culture during the 1960s?
Is Jack Crabb a symbol of the disaffected and disillusioned
youth of the era?
Are the Cheyenne the Vietnamese?
Or, are they icons for hippies, counter-culture types, and
the environmental movement?
Is Old Lodge Skins the wise Indian who will assuage white
guilt for past sins?
Why “revisionist”?
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New stereotypes?????
Playing Indian, Revisionism &
Counter Culture Stereotypes
Acceptable & normalized
 Institutionalized racism
 “Going Indian”
 “Honor” & respect
 Boy Scouts
 Sports
 Hobbyists
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The Boy Scouts
Boys Life, 1921, “Og”
Og, the book
Boy Scouts
1933 Volume of the
Magazine of the
Boy Scouts
Imperial Nostalgia
Noble Savage
Wise Indian
teaching the
imperialist
Teaching frontier
masculinity to the
“modern” boy
Cub Scouts “Arrows of Light”
Smoki “Indians”
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“Way Out West” rodeo and
celebration, 1910s
1921 Groups of Anglos in
Prescott, AZ
Re-enact and “preserve”
Indian culture, “dances &
ceremonies”
Raise money for town
Created a storyline for the
fake Smoki People
Hopis marched in protest
Anti-Modern Primitivists (1910s-40s)
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Georgia O’Keefe
Mabel Dodge Luhan
Escape from patriarchy &
eastern formalism
Search for community and
“real culture”
Authenticity & essentialism
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Perceived gender equality of
Puebloan women
Sexual liberation
Beat Generation (1950s-early 60s)
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Suburbia and homogeneity
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Cultural critiques
Sterile life of conformity
Jack Kerouac, On the Road
William Burroughs, Naked
Lunch
Anti-authoritarianism
Authenticity and the
search for meaning
Counterculture & Vietnam
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Questioned the foundations of American identity
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Various reactions
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Church, family, marriage, school, government
Beat Generation fed into 1960s Counter-culture
Political activism: Students for a Democratic Society (SDS)
Vietnam War as an Imperial War
Anti-establishment ideas filtered
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Scholars reinterpreted American history
Film industry questioned good guys v. bad guys, Westerns,
cowboys and Indians
Counter-Culture and Hippies
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Rebellion against mainstream society
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Capitalism
Rigid work and gender roles
Traditional institutions
Personal fulfillment
Communalism
Alternative realities &
lifestyles
Environmental
consciousness
Counter-cultural icons
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Woodstock
Summer of Love
Easy Rider
Janis Joplin & Jim Morrison
Ken Keasey
San Francisco & HaightAshbury
Timothy Leary "Turn on,
tune in, drop out”
Continued…
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Counter-culture of 1960s
Alan Ginsberg, “Howl”
Spirituality, creativity
Spontaneous actions
“Back to the Land”
Anti-materialism
Eastern & Indigenous
religions
New Buffalo Commune, NM 1967
Vietnam War
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A turning point in Post-WWII American history
“End” of American Consensus
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Fundamental institutions of U.S. were corrupt
Death of exceptionalism
Cold War conflict revealed the “limits” of US empire
Exposed and created deep divisions in American society
Financial, political and moral cost coincided with global
decolonization and shift in international economy
Deepened suspicion of government and most institutions
Impacted scholarship & popular culture
The Vietnam War: The Basics
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Direct U.S. Involvement
1954-1975
Nearly 60,000 U.S. deaths
Rise of Ho Chi Minh
Divided N & S VN
Over 2 million served
Financial cost
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$200 billion
Carpet Bombings
International resistance
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Indo-China
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Secret Bombings destroyed
Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia
Environmental pollution
Infrastructure
Economy
Pol Pot, Khmer Rouge
Dictatorial rule
Nearly 2 million dead
Reactions to the War
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Anti-War Movement
Free Speech Movement
Buddhist Monks
Support for NLF & HO
Support for Che
Guevarra and anticapitalist revolutionaries
Buddhist Monk Self-Immolation, 1963
My Lai Massacre, 1968
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Lt. William Calley, platoon of soldiers
“Clearing out” a small village
Killed over 300 Vietnamese civilians
U.S. helicopter forced them to stop, evacuated
Vietnamese survivors
U.S. government cover-up
Shocked America, helped anti-war movement
Reactions to the War
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Chicago, 1968
Kent State, 1970
Draft Resistance
Canada
Conscientious
Objector
Anti-War Movement
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“Teach-Ins”
Occupations
Chicano War
Moratorium
Vietnam Veterans
Against the War
CALCAV: Clergy and
Laity Concerned about
Vietnam
Vietnam Veterans Against the War
More Protests….
Chicago, 1970
Pentagon Protest, 1971
“Revisionism” in Academia
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Questions of Revisionism
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Political-cultural context
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Academic and popular re-analysis of US History
American empire and white oppression
Critiqued American Exceptionalism
1960s, protests, especially Vietnam
Women and Gender
African American History
Chicano History
Social history, working class, ethnic groups
New sources & methods
Revisionist Indian History & Film
Native American History
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Re-Writing Indian history
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Dee Brown, Bury My Heart
at Wounded Knee
Vine Deloria Jr., Custer Died
for Your Sins
Indians as victims, whites as
aggressors
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“New” representations of
Indians, West,, expansion
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Film Reinterpretations
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Billy Jack
Tell Them Willy Boy is
Here
The Graduate
Apocalypse Now
China Syndrome
Little Big Man
Post-Vietnam Environmentalism
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Cold War and war on
the environment
Pollution
Oil Dependency
Sierra Club
National
Environmental
Protection Agency
Love Canal
Earth Day, 1970
Cold War and
Anti-Nuke
Movement
Abalone Alliance
Earth First
Sea Shepherds
Love Canal and Three
Mile Island
Uranium Mining on
Indian Reservations
and alliances between
tribes/environmental
groups
Big Mountain
Playing Indian, Spiritualism and New Age
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Environmental movement
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Appropriation
Cultural/spiritual free market
Disconnected from historical
and spatial contexts
New Age mysticism
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Indians as environmentalists
Anti-materialism
Earth-centric
Sweat lodge ceremony
White Shamanism
“Indians,” Spiritualism & New Agers
Alex Grey, Psychedelic
Gaia, “Earth-Centric”
Hucksters and Wannabes
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Carlos Castaneda
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The Teachings of Don Juan
(1968)
A Separate Reality (1971)
“Traditional Yaqui”
Peyote
Mother Earth & Father Sky
Iron Eyes Cody
Contemporary Religious Rights
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Repatriation Movement
Archeologists collected thousands of bones, human
remains and items of cultural patrimony
Museums and public universities
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Native American Graves Protection & Repatriation Act
(NAGPRA) (1991)
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Smithsonian, Nebraska, Berkeley, Chicago, Wyoming, Arizona
Repatriate remains in public institutions
Regulations on public lands
Science, morality, spirituality
Ancestors v. data
Who Owns Indian Culture?
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Cultural Imperialism as
historical context the
assumption that Native
cultures are commodities
Non-Native belief of a
right to all Native cultural
productions
Power and privilege to
have that stance
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Appropriate culture and
fail to protect Native
sovereignty
Poverty, alcoholism,
diabetes, racism, and
general marginalization
from society
Little Big Man
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Questions to consider
Is the movie an allegory and / or critique of American
society and culture during the 1960s?
Is Jack Crabb a symbol of the disaffected and disillusioned
youth of the era?
Are the Cheyenne the Vietnamese?
Or, are they icons for hippies, counter-culture types, and
the environmental movement?
Is Old Lodge Skins the wise Indian who will assuage white
guilt for past sins?

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