I'm just as Indian standing before you with no feathers popping out of my head: Critiquing indigenous performativity in the YouTube performances of the 1491s

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2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article analyzes two YouTube videos by the 1491s, a Native American sketch comedy troupe. By using the interpretive framework of social media and film studies, which considers the role of viewership and fan participation in shaping reception, this article argues that the 1491s challenge Indigenous people to resist becoming complicit in the processes of simulation through an assertion of "visual sovereignty". Additional analysis examines a representative range of viewers' responses to the videos to flesh out how the 1491s' work is understood and valued by various viewers, many of whom take the opportunity to self-identify as Native American. Taken together with additional insights provided by the performers themselves, this article assesses how comedy is used to draw attention to the ironic situation of Native people "redfacing," of fabricating false and stereotypical identities, to appeal to non-Native peoples, particularly consumers, but also to enact critiques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)541-557
Number of pages17
JournalAlterNative
Volume12
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016

Fingerprint

video
fan
social media
sovereignty
performance
appeal
simulation
participation
YouTube
Viewer
Performativity
Native Americans
Comedy
Film Studies
Simulation
Media Studies
Sovereignty
Participation
Performer
Reception

Keywords

  • Humor
  • Performativity
  • Redface
  • Simulation
  • Visual sovereignty
  • YouTube

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • History
  • Cultural Studies

Cite this

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