Larry Watson's Montana 1948 and Euroamerican Representation of Native/Euroamerican History

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Like other recent films and texts, Larry Watson's Montana 1948 is preoccupied with the legacy of the U.S. conquest of Native America and the ongoing colonial relationship between the U.S. and Natives. But Montana 1948 also self-consciously calls attention to the problems endemic to Euroamerican efforts to "revision" Euroamerican/Native history. Watson suggests that at best most Euroamericans engage in shallow, self-congratulatory pieties to relieve themselves of guilt in regard to Native America, and that when it comes to telling stories about Euroamerican interaction with Indians, these stories are mired in tired Indian representations that mystify material history and the ongoing colonial status of Natives in the United States. Through his flawed narrator, Watson underscores that Euroamericans must be more rigorously self-critical as they engage questions of representation and their own deeply held colonial desires when telling history.


Copyright 2007 Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association

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The Rocky Mountain Review

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Bayers, Peter. “Larry Watson's Montana 1948 and Euroamerican Representation of Native/Euroamerican History,” in The Rocky Mountain Review, Spring 2007, 61 (1), pp. 35-50.