March 11, 2010

Marketing Ethnic Chic

I missed this presentation because I was in Arizona for the Heard Market, but last week, Sydney Sullivan presented in Albuquerque on 'Ethnic Chic' - It sounded like an amazing presentation and I wish I could have caught it! Here's a short article about it:

CMC Major Presents at National Conference
March 09, 2010
Critical Media and Cultural Studies major Sydney Sullivan (Class of 2010), presented "Marketing Ethnic Chic: How the Fashion Industry Has 'No Reservations'," at the annual Native American Literature Symposium (NALS) held at the tribal venue at Isleta Pueblo in Albuquerque, NM, on March 4, 2010.

Sullivan’s presentation focused on an examination of what the fashion industry terms "ethnic chic," and on how and in what ways the historical and contemporary fashion industry--from ads in fashion magazines to fashion blogs to runways--co-opted and continue to co-opt Native American designs, textiles and images. Her findings suggest that the fashion industry continues to diminish American Indian identities by “exoticizing” Native American tribes while at the same time promoting hegemonic ideals of American [Western] consumerism.

"Sydney captured the complicity of institutional racism and presented articulately and with compelling image representation," said Jane Hafen, Associate Professor of English at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and Clan Mother of the Native American Literature Symposium.

The Native American Literature Symposium, with its "Many Voices, One Center" maxim, is organized by an independent group of Indigenous scholars committed to making a place where Native voices can be heard. Since 2001, they have brought together some of the most influential voices in Native America to share stories--in art, prose, poetry, film, religion, history, politics, music, philosophy, and science--from their worldview.

Sullivan was encouraged to submit a presentation proposal to NALS by Assistant Professor of Critical Media and Cultural Studies Denise K. Cummings, who also presented at the symposium. Sydney's work on "ethnic chic" was developed in CMC 350: Native American Media and Cultural Studies, with Cummings, and CMC 400: Senior Seminar - Research Practicum in CMCS, with Lisa M. Tillmann. The Office of the Dean of the Faculty and the Department of Critical Media and Cultural Studies supported Sydney's conference experience.

[originial article from Rollins]

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