Revisiting Paul Kanes Wanderings of an Artist Among the Indians of North America

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Paul Kanes paintings and sketches which form the basis of Wanderings of an Artist, were made with the aim of presenting an “extensive series of illustrations of the characteristics, habits and scenery of the country and its inhabitants.” However, a careful and detailed reading of his paintings and writings show that he actually violated the trust that the American Indians placed in him by depicting false images. Working in the background of Lasswells theory of propaganda this study seeks to demonstrate how the images and writings that he created, fulfilled no purpose, other than that of propaganda. The essay takes as its base the short fiction of Sherman Alexies Scalp Dance by Spokane Indians and attempts to show through the text how Kane, in reality, violated the trust that the American Indian tribes placed in him, by allowing him to photograph them in various poses and at various times of the day and year.


1-Shaheena Ayub Bhatti
Professor, Department of English, Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi, Punjab, Pakistan.

2-Ghulam Murtaza
Associate Professor, Department of English, Government College University, Faisalabad, Punjab, Pakistan

3-Aamir Shehzad
Associate Professor, Department of English, Government College of Commerce & Management Sciences, Mansehra, KP, Pakistan.


Theory of Propaganda, Conventionalized Significance, Critical Inquiry, Skepticism, Distortion of Facts

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Published: Dec 2019

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