Exploring the Power to Frame and Name: Native Americans through a Vintage Lens

Thursday, April 6, 2023 - 5:30pm

Dr. Coleman will talk about how news and other stories about Native peoples are often framed in ways that mischaracterize Indigenous knowledge and cultures, and that, even today, frames harken back to vintage descriptions of Native Americans as “peculiar” and stoic.” She offers examples of how the power to name places—such as Oregon’s mountains—and products—like the Jeep Cherokee—preserve meanings in a discursive amber.

Cynthia-Lou Coleman studies, writes and lectures on science communication, and specializes in how environmental and cultural issues that affect Indigenous communities in North America unfold in social discourse—particularly in news media. Her recent book, Environmental Clashes on Native American Lands (Palgrave Macmillan), explores how scientists in the 18th and 19th centuries “proved” Indigenous peoples were savages and brutes based on the shape of their skulls: a fiction that continues today. She writes a blog about such issues titled "Native Science.” Coleman is an enrolled citizen of the Osage Nation.

Cynthis-Lou Coleman, PhD, Proferssor Emeritus of Communication, PSU


Adult Community Center
505 G Ave
Lake Oswego, OR 97034