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Ted Van Alst


“Teaching Native American Film”

Film: Reel Indians

Theodore C. Van Alst, Jr. is Assistant Professor and Co-Chair of Native American Studies at the University of Montana. He is a former Assistant Dean and Director of the Native American Cultural Center at Yale University, and has been an Assistant Professor and Co-Chair of the Program in Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies at the University of Connecticut. His most recent work includes “Lapin Noir: To Del Rio It Went” in A Critical Companion to the Fiction of Stephen Graham Jones, ed. Billy J. Stratton from the University of New Mexico Press as well as the chapters “Navajo Joe,” and “The Savage Innocents,” in Seeing Red—Hollywood’s Pixeled Skins: American Indians and Film (2013), available from Michigan State University Press. His current book-length project is Spaghetti and Sauerkraut with a Side of Frybread, and his edited volume The Faster Redder Road: The Best UnAmerican Stories of Stephen Graham Jones was released in April 2015 by the University of New Mexico Press. His fiction has been published in Future Earth MagazineFour Winds Literary Magazine, and Yellow Medicine Review. He has worked as a consultant on multiple projects for the Disney Channel as well as on NPR’s All Things Considered, and has recently appeared in multiple segments of the History Channel series Mankind the Story of All of Us. He has been interviewed by The Washington Post, Canadian Broadcast Corporation, Native America CallingSmithsonian Magazine, and Al-Jazeera America Television on a variety of subjects, from Native representation and Tonto to Spaghetti Westerns, headdresses, and Twilight.  Dr. Van Alst led a discussion of the film Reel Indians, and he discussed Hollywood and the image of Indians as well as the rise of Native American filmmakers. He also participated in a panel with Jeane Breinig about the making of Native documentary film.