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rFLA100: Native American Media and Culture: Research Assignment

Archival Research Assignment


Study Brevis Narratio (G159.B7 Rare Sp. Fla. Book), in a Word document, address the following questions, answer as thoroughly as you can to convey your perceptions:

  • How are the images organized?
  • What do they tell us about Native Americans? About European perceptions of Native Americans? Answer these questions generally, but also use one or two illustration examples and attempt to answer more specifically. 
  • What kinds of issues does this text raise as a historical document?

Course Description

Through critical analysis of representation and the ways Native- and non-Native-created texts (film, digital video, television, radio, print media, art, literature) have contributed to the construction of racial and ethnic identities, this course specifically addresses how contemporary Indigenous peoples reclaim textual production to (in)form identity, reconstruct the past, revitalize culture, and assert sovereignty and treaty rights. Course foundations address American Indian prehistory, the European colonial period, and the American period of American Indian history and experience. The course broadly confronts how a variety of media texts—film and digital video, in particular—and traditions intersect with questions of race, ethnicity, and other identity categories, how such texts have engaged with diversity and marginalization, class and inequality, and how they may affect identity formations and relations.

Dr. Denise Cummings

Cornell Social Sciences Building 


What is a Primary Source?

Primary sources are original sources created at the time an event occurs and are directly associated with their producer (or user). They offer a firsthand account of events, from the perspective of participants or eyewitnesses. They can be found in a variety of formats, including the ones listed on this Primary Source User Guide, and serve as the raw materials researchers use to analyze and interpret the past.

Examples include: Diaries, Letters, Newspapers, Government Documents, Photographs, Novels, Interviews, Speeches, and Clothing. This is just a sampling of what can be considered a primary source.

The following guides are available for citing archival materials consulted for papers, projects, and publications:

Learning Objectives

Representations of American Indians in media and culture become a lens whereby students can examine the diverse components that factor into the construction of the self. Learning how Native resistance and survivance are also dependent upon the reclamation of self-representation in media and culture will enable students to better understand how specific groups define racial, ethnic, gendered, religious, cultural, and other identify formations.

  1. Develop a critical and reflective perspective on Western interpretations and representations of indigenous Americans and their experiences.
  2. Develop knowledge of American Indian prehistory, the European Colonial period, and the American period of American Indian history and experience.
  3. Demonstrate awareness of and appreciation for the commonalties and the uniqueness of indigenous cultures and nations achieved by studying a variety of historical and contemporary filmic cultural representations.
  4. Demonstrate the ability to further refine critical thinking, written, and oral communication skills.