Their America is devoted to significant expressions (speeches, essays, political cartoons, fiction, news stories, etc.) about America by non-Americans. Our major objective is to create a global, synoptic site for Their America, an unpolemical, informative, and provocative resource not just for ‘American Studies’ scholars around the world, but for anyone interested in studying and debating the international reputation of the United States. We seek to explore a country no less strange and uncharted than America itself once was: their America, the nation and peoples of the United States as they exist in the hearts and minds of others.
(We’re looking, in particular, for suggestions about the most influential expressions about America by non-Americans — tell us what should be in our archives, and why, in the regional “Founders” sections of our forums.)
NEW TO THE ARCHIVES
[…] “The vanishing American Indian is in art, it’s in stories—we’re the so-called Last of the Mohicans,” she says. “We exist in the minds of mainstream America as dead and forgotten because the white Americans won the American West.”
When native traditions are constantly depicted as relics, it gives the impression that those traditions—and the more than 5 million native people in the United States—don’t exist anymore. Think of the Native American characters you’ve encountered in books and movies. How many of them were portrayed as characters from the past, and how many of them were depicted as people in the modern world? (Modern characters that are also magical don’t count—I’m still looking at you,Twilight.)
On a more basic level, the stereotypes of the “vanishing Indian,” the magical medicine man, or even the noble savage dehumanize the people they profess to represent. Children read books to learn, but also to identify with the characters. For native children, this presents a problem if most of the images they see of themselves are otherworldly, long gone, or sports mascots. […]
THEIR AMERICA TIMELINE