Between Cultures – Indigenous Men and Women in the U.S. Military in the 20th and 21st Century
This seminar intends to shed light on the complex relationship between Indigenous people and the U.S. military in the 20th and 21st century. More specifically, it explores Indigenous motivations for ... Lesen Sie weiter
This seminar intends to shed light on the complex relationship between Indigenous people and the U.S. military in the 20th and 21st century. More specifically, it explores Indigenous motivations for participation in the military. Frequently, Indigenous motives for joining the military were somewhat different from those imagined by Western officers, administrators, and policymakers. While the latter frequently came to see Indigenous participation as proof of Indigenous men to “legitimate” themselves as U.S. citizens, acculturation and assimilation, or the (supposedly) superior American way of life, Indigenous men and women joined for their own motives: to defend “their” people and “their” homeland first and the American nation second; to maintain their cultural identity; as well as numerous other motives. The seminar is divided into three parts: Part I offers some background information, offering some theoretical foundations in gender studies and war, some background information on Native Americans as an ethnic and cultural minority more generally, as well as cultural representations of Native Americans in the U.S. military. Part II traces Indigenous participation in the U.S. military during WWI, WWII, Vietnam, and the War on Terror (in Iraq and Afghanistan). This section more deeply explores Indigenous motivations for the military and provides some overview of the experiences of Indigenous men and women during different wars. It also offers two case studies: the code talkers of WWI and WWII, as well as Indigenous women in the military. Part III explores cultural practices, traditions, and ceremonies as practiced by Indigenous veterans. Together, these cultural practices and traditions offer fresh insights into why Native Americans continue to join the U.S. military and how they maintain their cultural integrity. Cultural practices, traditions, and ceremonies also help many veterans to better cope with war-related stress (or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD). Finally, this part explores the legacy of Indigenous military service by focusing on the National Native American Veterans Memorial at the National Museum of the American (NMAI) on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
The seminar touches upon the fields of gender/race, media representations, and ethnohistory, among others.