Nov. 7: Native Americans on screen and behind the scenes

Rhoades-80RICHLAND, Wash. – How movies have produced, perpetuated and challenged the ways Native Americans are perceived will be discussed at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7, in the East Building Auditorium, Washington State University Tri-Cities, 2710 Crimson Way, Richland. Admission is free to the public.

“American Indians in Cinema: Portrayals and Participation, Onscreen and Behind the Scene,” will be presented by Lance Rhoades, film historian and director of film studies at the Seattle Film Institute.

The public image of American Indians has been more defined by cinema than that of any other people in history. When one considers, for example, that as many as 25 percent of films made 1900-1950 were Westerns – which frequently represented American Indians as violent obstacles to progress – the lingering implications are staggering.

Rhoades will lead a conversation that addresses the formidable role cinema has played. He will raise questions about identity, stereotypes and cinema.

He is a cinema scholar who completed graduate studies in comparative literature and cinema studies at the University of Washington, where he has taught several courses on American Indians in cinema. He has been a researcher and instructor in the UW American Indian Studies Department and was a recipient of the UW Excellence in Teaching Award.

He has presented talks in the Middle East, Asia and Europe on cultural history in film, and each year he teaches a course in the humanities at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a faculty member of the Pacific Northwest Film Scoring Program and a program director for the Mercer Island Library and Arts Council.

The lecture is part of the 2013-14 WSU Tri-Cities College of Arts and Sciences Season of Events. Co-sponsor Humanities Washington is a nonprofit that provides free educational and cultural programs. For more information, visit

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Michael Mays, WSU Tri-Cities College of Arts & Sciences vice-chancellor, 509-372-7380,

Melissa O’Neil Perdue, WSU Tri-Cities marketing & communications manager, 509-372-7319,