Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/194511
Title:
The Princess Production: Locating Pocahontas in Time and Place
Author:
Ross, Angela
Issue Date:
2008
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
My dissertation, "The Princess Production: Locating Pocahontas in Time and Place," critically evaluates the succession of representations of Pocahontas since her death in 1617. Pocahontas has become the prototypical "Indian Princess," through which the indigenous "other" is mapped onto Eurocentric constructions of gender and race, and subsequently transformed into the object of desire to be colonized. Chapter One begins with an introduction to the Pocahontas myth, and continues with an overview of the representation of Native Americans in cinema. Given that Native Americans have been the subject of the romanticization of the passing frontier, then the image of Pocahontas, standing in for the gendered "virgin" frontier, has been problematically used to represent American nationhood. In the second chapter, I investigate the commodification of the image of Pocahontas, by way of a critical assessment of Disney's Pocahontas (1995). Due to its extreme popularity and plethora of commercial tie-ins, this animated film was able to cement mainstream attitudes of Native Americans and especially of indigenous women. Critical discussion, however, was ameliorated through "politically correct" associations of Indians with ecological balance and moral purity versus European decadence. I analyze the symbolic association of Pocahontas with nature in Chapter Three, particularly in Terence Malick's recent film The New World (2005), where this association is most blatant. Malick has been heavily influenced by such philosophers as Martin Heidegger, and his resulting romantic and pantheistic vision clouds gender difference and racial antagonism. The image of Pocahontas in The New World, therefore, simply becomes a signifier for the grand impersonal workings of Nature. Finally, in Chapter Four, I discuss attempts by indigenous writers and groups to reappropriate Pocahontas for Native Americans, and I conclude that this is of strategic importance for transforming Indian identity. Since the image of Pocahontas has played such a large role in the shaping of mainstream attitudes and government policy toward Native Americans, then retrieving it from its colonial legacy will go a long way toward preserving Indian culture and identity in the future.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
Disney; Jamestown; Malick; Native American; Pocahontas; Powhatan
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Comparative Cultural & Literary Studies; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
White, Susan
Committee Chair:
White, Susan

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoENen_US
dc.titleThe Princess Production: Locating Pocahontas in Time and Placeen_US
dc.creatorRoss, Angelaen_US
dc.contributor.authorRoss, Angelaen_US
dc.date.issued2008en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractMy dissertation, "The Princess Production: Locating Pocahontas in Time and Place," critically evaluates the succession of representations of Pocahontas since her death in 1617. Pocahontas has become the prototypical "Indian Princess," through which the indigenous "other" is mapped onto Eurocentric constructions of gender and race, and subsequently transformed into the object of desire to be colonized. Chapter One begins with an introduction to the Pocahontas myth, and continues with an overview of the representation of Native Americans in cinema. Given that Native Americans have been the subject of the romanticization of the passing frontier, then the image of Pocahontas, standing in for the gendered "virgin" frontier, has been problematically used to represent American nationhood. In the second chapter, I investigate the commodification of the image of Pocahontas, by way of a critical assessment of Disney's Pocahontas (1995). Due to its extreme popularity and plethora of commercial tie-ins, this animated film was able to cement mainstream attitudes of Native Americans and especially of indigenous women. Critical discussion, however, was ameliorated through "politically correct" associations of Indians with ecological balance and moral purity versus European decadence. I analyze the symbolic association of Pocahontas with nature in Chapter Three, particularly in Terence Malick's recent film The New World (2005), where this association is most blatant. Malick has been heavily influenced by such philosophers as Martin Heidegger, and his resulting romantic and pantheistic vision clouds gender difference and racial antagonism. The image of Pocahontas in The New World, therefore, simply becomes a signifier for the grand impersonal workings of Nature. Finally, in Chapter Four, I discuss attempts by indigenous writers and groups to reappropriate Pocahontas for Native Americans, and I conclude that this is of strategic importance for transforming Indian identity. Since the image of Pocahontas has played such a large role in the shaping of mainstream attitudes and government policy toward Native Americans, then retrieving it from its colonial legacy will go a long way toward preserving Indian culture and identity in the future.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectDisneyen_US
dc.subjectJamestownen_US
dc.subjectMalicken_US
dc.subjectNative Americanen_US
dc.subjectPocahontasen_US
dc.subjectPowhatanen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineComparative Cultural & Literary Studiesen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorWhite, Susanen_US
dc.contributor.chairWhite, Susanen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberWashburn, Francien_US
dc.contributor.committeememberBriggs, Lauraen_US
dc.identifier.proquest10140en_US
dc.identifier.oclc659750701en_US
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