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October 15, 2009

ULM history professor presents work at national conference

Roger Carpenter, assistant professor of history at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, presented a paper titled “Striving for Authenticity: ‘Real’ Indians, Scalping, and The Last of the Mohicans” at the American Society for Ethnohistory’s Annual Meeting, held from Sept. 30 - Oct. 4 in New Orleans.

Carpenter’s paper examined the 1936 film Last of the Mohicans and the effort made by the film’s producers to find “real Indians” for the film, as well as to accurately portray 18th century North American warfare. His paper discussed how these efforts proved to be a problem for the film’s producers, as “scalping” proved to be too difficult to portray.

Carpenter also chaired a session titled “Images: Literary, Motion Picture, and ‘Scientific’ Perspectives on North American Indians,” which examined native stereotypes in film, the tendency of European travel writers to refer to native leaders as “kings” and native authors in the 1890s critiquing US actions in Cuba and the Philippines.

The ASE was founded in 1954 to promote investigation of the Native Peoples of the Americas’ histories. This involves developing histories informed by ethnography, linguistics, archaeology and ecology.

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