Dr. Enrique Lima, Lecturer in Native American Studies at UC Berkeley
Beginning with Columbus and continuing to present-day popular culture, the “idea of the Indian” has retained a powerful hold on the imagination of non-Native people. Indigenous writers throughout the Americas have challenged those depictions, catalogued their destructive and dehumanizing effects, and demanded the right to represent their own realities. Lima’s new research asks can Native writers also be seduced by the “idea of the Indian”? What problems emerge when Native writers fictionalize abstract “Indians,” even when they do so in the service of Indigenous resistance? This lecture considers these and related questions in terms of the works of D’Arcy McNickle, Louise Erdrich, and José María Arguedas.