The Extermination of Kennewick Man’s Authenticity through Discourse

Center for American Indian Studies Programs
American Indian Studies Seminar Series
Wednesday, March 6, 2013

5:30 pm to 6:30 pm


Cynthia‐Lou Coleman, Portland State University

The Extermination of Kennewick Man’s Authenticity through Discourse examines the intersection of Baudrillard’s simulation and simulacra with Foucault’s construct biopolitics in the media discourse surrounding Kennewick Man—a 9,400 year‐old skeleton discovered in 1996. North American Tribes argued the remains should be given to them in accordance with 1990 federal legislation that allows repatriation of artifacts to indigenous peoples, while scientists argued that science would be “harmed” if the skeleton was repatriated. The essay extends the scholarly literature about discourse by overlaying discursive arguments with Baudrillardian and Foucauldian sensibilities about what constitute authenticity and indigeneity.

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