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Killing the Indian Maiden: Images of Native American Women in Film

by M. Elise Marubbio

Availablepaperback$30.00x 978-0-8131-9238-3
Availablecloth$60.00x 978-0-8131-2414-8
312 pages  Pubdate: 08/28/2009  6 x 9 x .6875  12 b&w photos

Killing the Indian Maiden examines the fascinating and often disturbing portrayal of Native American women in film. M. Elise Marubbio examines the sacrificial role in which a young Native woman allies herself with a white male hero and dies as a result of that choice. In studying thirty-four Hollywood films from the silent period to the present, she draws upon theories of colonization, gender, race, and film studies to ground her analysis in broader historical and sociopolitical context and to help answer the question, “What does it mean to be an American?” The book reveals a cultural iconography embedded in the American psyche. As such, the Native American woman is a racialized and sexualized other. A conquerable body, she represents both the seductions and the dangers of the American frontier and the Manifest Destiny of the American nation to master it.

M. Elise Marubbio is an assistant professor of American Indian Studies, English, Film, and Women’s Studies at Augsburg College. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

"An abundantly detailed and sophisticated study of the depiction of Native American women in film by a scholar who has mastered the latest currents of critical race theory and post-colonial theory. Erudite, yet accessible, the book offers a fresh and provocative angle on the Western, the genre that dominated American cinema across much of the twentieth century."--Steven Mintz, author of Huck's Raft: A History of American Childhood Fills a ga

"Named one of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles in its January 2008 issue."--Choice

"Other film scholars have studied the portrayal of Native Americans in film. Unlike other works, Marubbio’s work is tightly focused on the depiction of female characters. In addition to film studies, this work makes a valuable contribution to women’s studies."--American Indian Quarterly

"A refreshing rereading of a familiar subject . . . demonstrates theoretical sophistication and scholarly poise in highly readable prose. . . . This is a valuable text. It should find a place not only in research libraries and undergraduate classrooms, but also as the cornerstone to subsequent studies of Native Americans and film."--Journal of the West

Winner of the 2006 Peter C. Rollins Annual Book Award.

winner of the 2006 Peter C. Rollins Annual Book Award given by the Southwest Texas Popular Culture and American Culture Associations