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“Naked Indians: ‘Not as Revolting as One Might Think’”
September 8 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Join us for a virtual visit from Joseph M. Pierce, titled “Naked Indians: ‘Not as Revolting as One Might Think’”.Settlers have viewed Indigenous bodies as objects of erotic ambivalence. The Indian is naked in colonial eyes. And the nakedness of the Indian is itself a project of discovery in which the body is subjected to aesthetic and epistemological scrutiny. This scrutiny is not value neutral, and participates in the gendered dynamic by which Europeans imagined Indigenous peoples as naive and deviant, but also potentially beautiful. Amerigo Vespucci would write about the Indigenous women he observed, “they are not as revolting as one might think.” This and other depictions of indigenous bodies focus on the matter of the flesh but also how the unclothed Indian represents both an object of desire and revulsion. This presentation will discuss what the naked Indian means, and how Indigenous people have repurposed the significance of nakedness over time