From Tarzan to Tonto

Cropped banner for Tarzan to Tonto program

February 9, 2017
6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
National Museum of the American Indian
Rasmuson Theater
4th Street and Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C.

As early Americans sought to define their identity in a new country, the concept of race became a major fixation.

Caricatures such as Tarzan and Jane, Tonto and the Lone Ranger, Uncle Ben and Aunt Jemima, and other stereotypes about Native American, African, and African American people have long been part of the American consciousness. Join noted scholars, writers, and critics Feb. 9 for a lively evening of discussion about the ongoing presence of these stereotypes and their effect on the American psyche.

Participants include:

  • Gaurav Desai, professor of English Language and Literature, University of Michigan
  • Adrienne Keene (Cherokee Nation), assistant professor, American Studies and Ethnic Studies, Brown University
  • Imani Perry, Hughes-Rogers Professor of African American Studies, Princeton University
  • Jesse Wente (Ojibwe), leading film critic and programmer for indigenous cinema.

Tiya Miles, Mary Henrietta Graham Distinguished University Professor of African American Women’s History, professor of Afro-American and African Studies, professor of American Culture, professor of History, and professor of Women’s Studies, University of Michigan, will serve as the evening’s moderator.

A reception in the museum’s Potomac Atrium follows the symposium.

Free and open to the public.

Posted: 3 February 2017
About the Author:

Alex di Giovanni has been editing The Torch since August 2006. Prior to joining the Smithsonian, she worked as a writer and editor for the National Geographic Society, Plexus Scientific, The Nature Conservancy, The National Foreign Language Center and St. Martin’s Press, among others. She has the best job in the world.