Indians as Artifacts: How Images of Indians Are Used to Nationalize America's Youth

December 13, 2008

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Debbie Reese

Recorded as part of the "American Identity in Children's Literature Symposium", four scholars discuss the development of ethnic or multicultural children's literature, which seeks to diversify the all-white world of children's literature. Presentations were drawn from their respective specialties of Jewish, Latino, American Indian, and African American children's books to address such issues as authenticity, audience, self-esteem, and presentations of social conflict and cultural differences that make this field so important and so contested.

Debbie Reese is an enrolled member of the Nambé Pueblo Tribe. She is an assistant professor in American Indian Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research interests include the representations of Native Americans in children's and young adult literature, textbooks, curricular materials, and other forms of media used in the classroom. Her book chapters, articles, essays, and reviews have appeared in print and online academic journals as well as publications that are used by teachers and librarians who work with children. Her current research projects include a book titled Indians as Artifacts: How Images of Indians are used to Nationalize America's Youth, and a searchable database of children's books by and about Native Americans.  She writes regularly at her blog, American Indians in Children's Literature.


Also recorded as part of this event:
Debbie Reese - "Indians as Artifacts: How Images of Indians Are Used to Nationalize America's Youth"
Michelle Martin - "Little Black Sambo and the Complicated History of African American Children's Books"
Phillip Serrato - "Trying to Forget Pedro and Juanita: The Emergence of Chicano/a Children's Literature"

 

Recorded Saturday, December 13, 2008 at The Newberry Library.