Creating an Osage Future: Art, Resistance, and Self-Representation Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
  • Powell, Jami
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Anthropology
  • Creating an Osage Future: Art, Resistance, and Self-Representation, examines the ways Osage citizens—and particularly artists—engage with mainstream audiences in museums and other spaces in order to negotiate, manipulate, subvert, and sometimes sustain static notions of Indigeneity. This project interrogates some of the tactics Osage and other American Indian artists are using to imagine a stronger future, as well as the strategies mainstream museums are using to build and sustain more equitable and mutually beneficial relationships between their institutions and Indigenous communities. In addition to object-centered ethnographic research with contemporary Osage artists and Osage citizens and collections-based museum research at various museums, this dissertation is informed by three recent exhibitions featuring the work of Osage artists at the Denver Art Museum, the Field Museum of Natural History, and the Sam Noble Museum at the University of Oklahoma. Drawing on methodologies of humor, autoethnography, and collaborative knowledge-production, this project strives to disrupt the hierarchal structures within academia and museums, opening space for Indigenous and aesthetic knowledges. Although this research is grounded in an analysis of the Osage Nation, its focus on the intersection of art and self-determination contributes to imperative and timely interdisciplinary discussions about participatory research, decolonization, Indigenous knowledge production, and museum representations with which Indigenous communities across the globe are currently struggling.
Date of publication
Resource type
  • Tone-Pah-Hote, Jenny
  • Colloredo-Mansfeld, Rudi
  • Lambert, Valerie
  • Dennison, Jean
  • Colwell, Chip
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2018

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