Identity In Cultural Appropriation: Native American Representations In Euro-American Art

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Kellie Morgan Doran (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Heather Waldroup

Abstract: The inspiration for this paper came from a class where the students were given an opportunity to create a project based off of Circus Americanus by Ralph Rugoff. This book compiled multiple case studies relating to the field of visual culture. The one study that drew my specific attention, analyzed the city of Las Vegas, Nevada in relation to its appropriation of cultures for entertainment purposes. From this, I developed a project that approached the topic of Native American sports mascots leading me to breach the massive conversation that revolves around cultural appropriation issues and matters of representations of Indigenous cultures. I came to understand how extensive this field of study is and the many ways that can be used to approach this conversation. I immediately decided that this was the direction my thesis was going to take. This project analyzes three different case studies all pertaining to the idea of cultural appropriation, specifically subject appropriation of Native American groups encountered during the periods of New World exploration and Manifest Destiny. Each study will revolve around white, male artists that produced images depictive of “traditional” Native peoples living in North America during the life of each artist. I will argue that these representations ultimately affected the Native American identity and created an atmosphere favorable to their persecution. These artists are heavily responsible for the harmful stereotypes still associated with Native American people. My research will show that the information disseminated from these artists and circulated in North America and other Western countries, overshadowed any Native American attempt to establish their own identity for outsiders.

Additional Information

Honors Project
Doran, K. (2019). Identity In Cultural Appropriation: Native American Representations In Euro-American Art. Unpublished Honors Thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2019
Manifest Destiny, Native American, Theodore De Bry, Albert Bierstadt, Edward S. Curtis

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