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Liza Black, citizen Cherokee Nation, is a Visiting Scholar at UCLA's Institute of American Cultures and American Indian Studies Center. She is also an Assistant Professor of History and Native American and Indigenous Studies at Indiana University.

Black is currently working on her second book, How to Get Away with Murder: A History of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. Black's first book is Picturing Indians: Native Americans in Film, 1941-1960. With co-editor Nicholas Rosenthal, Black edited Representing Native Peoples: Native Narratives of Indigenous History and Culture, special edition of American Indian Culture and Research Journal 42 (2018). Her email is: blackli@iu.edu.

Standing at the intersection of Native history, labor, and representation, Picturing Indians presents a vivid portrait of the complicated experiences of Native actors on the sets of midcentury Hollywood Westerns. This behind-the-scenes look at costuming, makeup, contract negotiations, and union disparities uncovers an all-too-familiar narrative of racism and further complicates filmmakers’ choices to follow mainstream representations of “Indianness.”

Reviews

"Black is adept at weaving together close readings of film narratives, granular details about productions, details from Native-produced revisionist documentaries such as Reel Injuns (Diamond, 2009), and firsthand responses from Native viewers to fully deconstruct--and I mean that in the strictest Derridean, not colloquial, sense--Hollywood's construction of Indianness. Her reportage of coeval and latter-day resistance to such 'picturing' is a model of critical storytelling practice as well as of applied decolonizing methodologies. This is film history as activism."

—Jennifer L. Jenkins,
Southwestern Historical Quarterly