American Studies
American Studies

Edwin Whitewolf


Doctoral Student
Edwin Whitewolf

Contact

Interests


Cinema Studies and Media Studies, Native American Studies, Museum Studies, Critical Race Theory, Pop Culture and Spectacle, National Memory, 19th Century American History

Biography


A member of the Comanche Nation, Edwin Whitewolf comes from a background in cinema studies, having graduated from the CUNY Baccalaureate Program with a B.S. in Cinematic Theory and Aesthetic Communication and a Master of Arts in Cinema Studies from New York University. While interested in a broad range of topics that includes cinema studies, museum studies, and 19th century American history, his primary focus is the representation and cultural memory of Native Americans in American popular culture.

While in New York City, Edwin was a volunteer at the National Museum of the American Indian and the American Museum of Natural History, specifically during the Native American Film + Video Festival and the Margaret Mead Film Festival. Since entering the American Studies graduate program at the University of Texas at Austin, he has been involved in planning a number of film screening, symposium, and graduate conference events, and helped to create exhibits for the American Indians in Texas gallery on display in Jester Hall.

In addition to his duties as a doctoral student, Edwin has also worked as both a supplemental instructor for American Studies program, and as an online instructor for a Native American history course offered by UT-Austin University Extension. Further, he is currently beginning early pre-production work on a documentary project investigating the Native American food staple frybread and its place in Native American culture.

Edwin is currently interested in how narratives of Native Americans are represented in small vernacular museums, and how those narratives differ from generally agreed upon national narratives.


PUBLICATIONS


The Searchers: The Making of an American Legend by Glenn Frankel (review). Western American Literature, Volume 48, Number 4, Winter 2014, pp. 490-491.

Courses


AMS 311S • Paranormal America

30150 • Spring 2018
Meets MWF 9:00AM-10:00AM BUR 436A

Description:

 

The United States of America is filled with strange locations, some with specifically dark and frightening histories. Our landscape is dotted with areas of legend, from the Bridgewater Triangle in Massachusetts to the Skinwalker Ranch in Utah. It is home to locations that have filled our imaginations and our popular culture with dread, from Amityville and Salem, to Roswell and Snowflake. Our skies seem at times to be filled with terrifying winged creatures and UFOs, while our forests, swamps, rivers, lakes, and bays at times seem to be filled with threatening monsters. We may not be safe even in our homes, which can be invaded by spectral presences from beyond the grave or simply from someplace else. How do these stories act on both micro and macro levels, at the local and national scales? How does the generation of local legend interweave with American history? In what ways do these narratives describe, or even shape, physical landscape? And how does lore help in forming or ripping apart communities?

 

This course seeks to investigate famous and frightening instances of American paranormal lore and study their relationship to American history, community, and placemaking within national geography. We will begin with an analysis of the different sorts of legends that permeate American lore. Moving throughout American history, we will touch upon specific moments, such as the Salem Witchcraft Trials, the birth of the Jersey Devil, the Mothman legend, the famous haunting at Amityville, Travis Walton’s alien abduction, and others in order to analyze the ways in which these stories have affected the communities and landscapes in which they have reputedly taken place. We will also study how these and other events have been interpreted through popular American media, such as literature, television, and film, and the effect that popular media representations has had on the locations involved.

 

Possible Texts:

John A. Keel, The Mothman Prophecies

Jay Anson, The Amityville Horror

Whitley Streiber, Communion

Various texts on Canvas

 

Possible Movies/Television Shows/Podcasts

The Witch (2015), Robert Eggers

The House of the Devil (2009), Ti West

The Town that Dreaded Sundown (1976), Charles B. Pierce

Poltergeist (1983), Tobe Hooper

The Amityville Horror (1979), Stuart Rosenberg

Fire in the Sky (1993), Robert Lieberman

The X-Files (series)

Supernatural (series)

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (series)

American Horror Story (series)

Lore (podcast)

Astonishing Legends (podcast)

 

Assignments (include % of grade):

Attendance - 20%

Participation and Weekly Reading/Viewing Response - 20%

Folklore Project - 10%

Final Paper Rough Draft - 20%

Final Revised Paper - 30%

AMS 311S • Paranormal America

30810 • Fall 2017
Meets MWF 9:00AM-10:00AM BUR 436A

Description:

 

The United States of America is filled with strange locations, some with specifically dark and frightening histories. Our landscape is dotted with areas of legend, from the Bridgewater Triangle in Massachusetts to the Skinwalker Ranch in Utah. It is home to locations that have filled our imaginations and our popular culture with dread, from Amityville and Salem, to Roswell and Snowflake. Our skies seem at times to be filled with terrifying winged creatures and UFOs, while our forests, swamps, rivers, lakes, and bays at times seem to be filled with threatening monsters. We may not be safe even in our homes, which can be invaded by spectral presences from beyond the grave or simply from someplace else. How do these stories act on both micro and macro levels, at the local and national scales? How does the generation of local legend interweave with American history? In what ways do these narratives describe, or even shape, physical landscape? And how does lore help in forming or ripping apart communities?

 

This course seeks to investigate famous and frightening instances of American paranormal lore and study their relationship to American history, community, and placemaking within national geography. We will begin with an analysis of the different sorts of legends that permeate American lore. Moving throughout American history, we will touch upon specific moments, such as the Salem Witchcraft Trials, the birth of the Jersey Devil, the Mothman legend, the famous haunting at Amityville, Travis Walton’s alien abduction, and others in order to analyze the ways in which these stories have affected the communities and landscapes in which they have reputedly taken place. We will also study how these and other events have been interpreted through popular American media, such as literature, television, and film, and the effect that popular media representations has had on the locations involved.

 

Possible Texts:

John A. Keel, The Mothman Prophecies

Jay Anson, The Amityville Horror

Whitley Streiber, Communion

Various texts on Canvas

 

Possible Movies/Television Shows/Podcasts

The Witch (2015), Robert Eggers

The House of the Devil (2009), Ti West

The Town that Dreaded Sundown (1976), Charles B. Pierce

Poltergeist (1983), Tobe Hooper

The Amityville Horror (1979), Stuart Rosenberg

Fire in the Sky (1993), Robert Lieberman

The X-Files (series)

Supernatural (series)

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (series)

American Horror Story (series)

Lore (podcast)

Astonishing Legends (podcast)

 

Assignments (include % of grade):

Attendance - 20%

Participation and Weekly Reading/Viewing Response - 20%

Folklore Project - 10%

Final Paper Rough Draft - 20%

Final Revised Paper - 30%

AMS 311S • Mythic Indian In Amer Cul

30690 • Spring 2017
Meets MWF 9:00AM-10:00AM BUR 436A

Description
American culture is replete with images of the “Indian.” From the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition to professional sports team mascots, and from the packaging on Land ‘o’ Lakes butter to Walt Disney animated feature films, the “Indian” remains a pervasive yet enigmatic figure, but also, in the words of Vine Deloria, “unreal and ahistorical.” What exactly was Deloria saying when he wrote those words in 1969, and how are his comments relevant to the images of Native people in American culture then and now? Where do these images come from, and how are they connected to the creation of the republic of the United States of America? Further, how have these images helped in creating stereotypes that have been utilized by non-Native people, and how have these stereotypes been used? How and why have these stereotypes changed over the past 500 years? Finally, what are the broader political and cultural consequences of these stereotypes for Native people in America?

 

This course will interrogate the image of the mythic Indian in American popular culture, as seen through a variety of media, including American history, world’s fairs and expositions, public museum exhibits, literature, and film. In doing so, we will focus upon popular stereotypes, with specific attention paid to their genealogies. We will begin by analyzing the role of these images and their relevance to the United States of America, and how they have continued to operate throughout American history. We will also spend some time focused upon critical responses to these images from Native American people.

 

Possible Texts:

Thomas King, The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America

Phil Deloria, Playing Indian

Shari Huhndorf, Going Native: Indians in the American Cultural Imagination

Various authors, Course Reader

 

Assignments (include % of grade):

Attendance and Participation - 20%

Weekly Reading/Viewing Response - 20%

Final Paper Rough Draft - 20%

Final Paper Rough Draft Presentation - 10%

Final Revised Paper - 30%

AMS 311S • Mythic Indian In Amer Cul

30570 • Fall 2016
Meets MWF 9:00AM-10:00AM BUR 436A

Description
American culture is replete with images of the “Indian.” From the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition to professional sports team mascots, and from the packaging on Land ‘o’ Lakes butter to Walt Disney animated feature films, the “Indian” remains a pervasive yet enigmatic figure, but also, in the words of Vine Deloria, “unreal and ahistorical.” What exactly was Deloria saying when he wrote those words in 1969, and how are his comments relevant to the images of Native people in American culture then and now? Where do these images come from, and how are they connected to the creation of the republic of the United States of America? Further, how have these images helped in creating stereotypes that have been utilized by non-Native people, and how have these stereotypes been used? How and why have these stereotypes changed over the past 500 years? Finally, what are the broader political and cultural consequences of these stereotypes for Native people in America?

 

This course will interrogate the image of the mythic Indian in American popular culture, as seen through a variety of media, including American history, world’s fairs and expositions, public museum exhibits, literature, and film. In doing so, we will focus upon popular stereotypes, with specific attention paid to their genealogies. We will begin by analyzing the role of these images and their relevance to the United States of America, and how they have continued to operate throughout American history. We will also spend some time focused upon critical responses to these images from Native American people.

 

Possible Texts:

Thomas King, The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America

Phil Deloria, Playing Indian

Shari Huhndorf, Going Native: Indians in the American Cultural Imagination

Various authors, Course Reader

 

Assignments (include % of grade):

Attendance and Participation - 20%

Weekly Reading/Viewing Response - 20%

Final Paper Rough Draft - 20%

Final Paper Rough Draft Presentation - 10%

Final Revised Paper - 30%

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