The Story of a Land: The Spatial Politics of Early Multiculturalism in Indian Country

  • Amy Lynn Corbin
Part of the Screening Spaces book series (SCSP)


Of all the cultural landscapes, we must start with Indian Country, for the simple fact that the land in question was originally foreign to white settlers, and so discourse about this cultural landscape structures America’s initial familiar/foreign dichotomy. In this sense, this first chapter is a sort of “prequel” to the rest of the book and its interest in the post-sixties era’s multicultural travel. The prominent cycle of Westerns that focus on Indian culture were made just before the book’s timeframe (in 1969–1971), and so they illustrate some of the structures of feeling that later feed into multiculturalism; they are also largely about nineteenth-century America, and so they reveal the way in which historical narratives attempted to incorporate an “other” race and landscape into the formation of the nation. The “Indian” may frequently be shown as vanishing, as many have noted, but “Indian Country” lingers and must continually be positioned in relation to the rest of America. By framing it as a pocket of authenticity and roots within the larger nation, its foreignness becomes both tamed and integrated by those who have more freedom of movement. Indian Country films are thus the necessary starting point for an examination of touristic American films.


Cultural Landscape White Paint Indian Culture Tour Guide Indian Country 
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© Amy Lynn Corbin 2015

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  • Amy Lynn Corbin

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