Lecture: Paul Chaat Smith on Americans
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Lecture: Paul Chaat Smith on Americans

Paul Chaat Smith standing against a wall next to a bust of a woman.
Paul Chaat Smith

Part of Jimmie Durham: At the Center of the World

“How is it that Indians are present everywhere—in the form of place names, popular culture, advertising, sports team names, weapons systems—yet barely present in history and largely absent from the great national debates of our time?” says author and curator Paul Chaat Smith. Drawing from Jimmie Durham’s influential career as well as alternate approaches to the intersection of art and politics, Smith addresses this riddle at the heart of American life.

About the Speaker

Paul Chaat Smith is a Comanche author, essayist, and curator. He joined the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in 2001, where he serves as associate curator. His exhibitions include James Luna’s Emendatio, Fritz Scholder: Indian/Not Indian, and Brian Jungen: Strange Comfort. Smith is the author (with Robert Warrior) of Like a Hurricane: the Indian Movement from Alcatraz to Wounded Knee. His second book, Everything You Know about Indians Is Wrong, was published in 2009 by the University of Minnesota Press. Although he spends most of his time crafting game-changing exhibitions and texts, he also enjoys reading obsessively about the early days of the Soviet space program, watching massive amounts of televised sports, and writing about himself in the third person.