Master of Arts (MA)


Geography and Anthropology

Document Type



Feathers and Tuxedos: An Analysis of Political Cartoons About Indian Gaming is an exploration into the changing stereotypes of Indians in illustrated media. Beginning with general issues such as poverty and media coverage, this thesis continues to cover chronologically the origins of modern Indian gaming and the resulting expenditure of profits into social welfare of the tribes and the continuous three-way battle between state, federal, and Indian sovereign rights. Normative U.S. societal reactions to Indian gaming are contrasted with their Indian counterpoints. Cartoons allow for a visual representation of contested relationships, including recent imagery of well-to-do entrepreneurs profiting at the expense of the surrounding communities. Mainstream media cartoon illustrations of wealthy Indians reveal a threatened counterimage of whiteness. Cartoons released through Indian media, on the other hand, present as rebuttal, images of white anxiety as a continuation of past injustices. The issues of power underlying white aggression represent the latest tactic in the undermining of Indian sovereignty. The ensuing Indian defense involves negotiations of identity.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Mary Jill Brody