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“Winnetou, White Innocence, and Settler Time” by Dr. Maureen Gallagher (Australian National University)
In this virtual event, Dr. Maureen Gallagher (Australian National University) critically examines cinematic adaptations of Karl May’s original 1893 trilogy Winnetou.

Abstract: Proclaiming “every generation has its Winnetou,” German network RTL ushered in the return of Winnetou to German television with a big-budget film trilogy, Winnetou–Der Mythos Lebt. This talk analyzes this 2016 Winnetou film trilogy in dialogue with the 1960s West German westerns and Karl May’s original 1893 novel using concepts from settler colonial studies, Indigenous studies, and critical race theory to show how Winnetou centers whiteness. In the new Winnetou, full of nostalgic call-backs to the 1960s film westerns, the blood brotherhood relationship between white German Old Shatterhand and Mescalero Apache Winnetou becomes a way of forging connections not only across cultures but across temporal lines, allowing for the imposition of settler time onto Indigenous persons and the erasure of Indigenous sovereignty and survival. Understanding the blood brotherhood within Winnetou as a kind of settler adoption fantasy allows us to understand how Winnetou centers a narrative of German innocence and reinscribes fantasies of white conquest in the American West.

Oct 8, 2021 01:00 PM in Vancouver

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