Amy Lonetree will present at the Indigenous Arts in Transition Seminar on Wednesday, October 30, at 6 pm. Her talk is entitled “Studio Portraits and Tourist Images: Writing a History of the Ho-Chunk Nation Through the Visual Archive, 1879–1960.”

Engaging with the 2019–20 Bard Graduate Center theme “Whose Story?” Lonetree’s talk considers the challenging, complicated, and inspiring process of writing a history with and for her community, the Ho-Chunk Nation. The project examines the intersections of photographic images, family history, tourism, and Ho-Chunk survivance through an examination of two extraordinary photographic collections housed at the Wisconsin Historical Society: the Charles Van Schaick Collection and the Henry Hamilton (H.H.) Bennett Collection. Both collections include visual materials that document, represent, and convey a deep history of Ho-Chunk resilience and survival, along with the ongoing legacies of settler colonialism. This talk will address the importance of employing decolonizing methodological strategies when analyzing these sources. Particular attention is given to privileging the perspectives of the Indigenous people captured in the frame and the ongoing meaning that this visual archive has to our understanding of Ho-Chunk identity, issues of representation, modern labor, and survivance. Lonetree will also consider the diversity of Indigenous peoples’ affective responses to these historic images through an analysis of her own engagement with family images in the visual archive.


Amy Lonetree (Ho-Chunk) is an Associate Professor of History at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She received her PhD in Ethnic Studies from the University of California, Berkeley, and her scholarly research focuses on Indigenous history, visual culture studies, and museum studies. Her publications include, Decolonizing Museums: Representing Native America in National and Tribal Museums (2012); a co-edited book with Amanda J. Cobb, The National Museum of the American Indian: Critical Conversations (2008); and a co-authored volume, People of the Big Voice: Photographs of Ho-Chunk Families by Charles Van Schaick, 1879–1942 (2011).


This event will be livestreamed. Please check back the day of the event for a link to the video. To watch videos of past events please visit our YouTube page.