tDAR Logo tDAR digital antiquity

Visual Representations and Entanglements: Photography and Native Identity-Making in the Classroom and Museum

Author(s): Paige Bardolph ; Dana Bardolph

Year: 2015

» Downloads & Basic Metadata


This paper examines politics of representation of Native North American communities, past and present, through the use of photographs in academic and museum settings. We consider how photographs of people and objects have been used to naturalize precepts of colonialism, as well as how they have been used to empower indigenous subjects. The implementation of NAGPRA has provided a framework for museums to determine if they should display certain objects deemed culturally sensitive; however, there are no formal procedures in place for historic photographs and images, whether used in museum exhibitions or education venues such as classroom lectures, publications, and media. We critically examine the roles of photographs in popular and academic imaginations as a means to explore improved methods of teaching anthropology in the 21st century. Through interviews with Native consultants, we aim to explore "best practice" approaches for representing Native identities in the classroom and in museum exhibits, in order to move away from outdated representations and stereotypes.

SAA 2015 abstracts made available in tDAR courtesy of the Society for American Archaeology and Center for Digital Antiquity Collaborative Program to improve digital data in archaeology. If you are the author of this presentation you may upload your paper, poster, presentation, or associated data (up to 3 files/30MB) for free. Please visit for instructions and more information.

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Cite this Record

Visual Representations and Entanglements: Photography and Native Identity-Making in the Classroom and Museum. Paige Bardolph, Dana Bardolph. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396711)


Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America