Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The Ides of Genocide


I remind you about this sort of fictional science (see previous post) in a book about Native people and science fiction because, well, we better not forget that, ever. It also raises an interesting idea about Western perceptions of Native people. While some so-and-so’s were measuring heads at White Earth, much of the science, social science, and cultural expression produced in the America of that same era was busy predicting the imminent demise of Native people. Given the sepia tones of photographs like “Sunset of a Dying Race” and the romantic rending of hearts in other tales of the “Vanishing American,” perhaps we should say what they really predicted was the eminent demise of Native people. That lends it a far greater air of gravitas and makes it all sound kind of noble, doesn't it?


Et tu, EdwardCurtis?

"The Vanishing Race" (1904) photo by Edward Curtis.
The only problem with the pic, Mr C, is Natives weren't vanishing;
that was your fantasy.

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