NARRATIVE PATHS OF NATIVE AMERICAN RESISTANCE: TRACING AGENCY AND COMMEMORATION IN JOURNALISM TEXTS IN EASTERN NORTH CAROLINA, 1872-1988. Public Deposited

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  • March 19, 2019
Creator
  • Ahearn, Lorraine
    • Affiliation: Hussman School of Journalism and Media, Mass Communication Graduate Program
Abstract
  • The Lumbees of Robeson County, the largest tribe of Native Americans east of the Mississippi River, have persisted against the grain of Western historical narratives. A century of disenfranchisement and social repression left the sprawling Eastern Seaboard county, home to an estimated 50,000 American Indians, with among the bleakest economic outlooks in the South. Lacking treaty rights or full federal recognition, both the Lumbees and Tuscaroras nevertheless resisted marginalization, in part by invoking formidable historical identities that bind Indians to the land and to each other. This dissertation is concerned with a particular mechanism in the performance of identity: self-representation in mass media. Four historical markers of Indian identity in the century under examination all involve Native American resistance to white supremacy, and in each instance, media played an operative role in portraying common themes that linked these historical eras, suggesting that intertextuality recirculates narratives back to the community, and that journalism itself becomes a formation of memory. The purpose here is to gain insight into agency and the process of transculturation as it applies to self-representation. A fundamental assumption is that journalism is a narrative form, seeking to impose structure on the chaos of reality. A parallel premise is the notion of cultural scripts, continuous templates that imbue the Native American landscape of the present with felt attachments to the past. The question this research poses is how a racial isolate appropriated and subverted journalism narratives for the purpose of autonomy and as a site of memory formation. A broader project turns on mutual fulfillment of narratives. How might appropriation, by disrupting mainstream journalists’ sense of distance as neutral observers, alter the form of journalism itself?
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  • In Copyright
Advisor
  • Lowery, Malinda
  • Friedman, Barbara
  • Vargas, Lucila
  • Fee, Frank E.
  • Blair, Carole
Degree
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2016
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