Photography, Culture, Narrative, Seminole
This dissertation project discusses individual photographs of the Brighton Seminole Tribe of Florida from the early 1900s to the current period, each organized by way of their institutional significance, not their place in chronological history. Following Jean Mohr and John Berger's model in Another Way of Telling, I create a narrative for the pictures with a discussion of historical information, current data from interviews, Tribal members' stories, and my own personal story as it is tethered to the tribe. The research addresses the following questions: Can photography offer a technological means to communicate culture in a vital, organic way? Can photos communicate culture as identity and not something merely to identify with? Can this cultural identification include me, an outsider, and is it possible that a colonialist viewpoint is actually beneficial to the tribe? John Berger, Roland Barthes, and Gregory Ulmer's theories allow opportunity for new perspectives, and even would-be answers at times. Admittedly, there is no frame large enough to hold all of the truth, but these theorists' works push the frame's boundaries to look at the pictures from other perspectives, other as both different and from the outside. These critics offer light and air, posing questions such as, what assumptions help a viewer transcend the normally limited perspective of a superficial observer? What possible contributions might an outsider bring to the interpretation?
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Texts and Technology
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Van Camps, April, "Memories And Milestones: The Brighton Seminole Tribe Of Florida And The Digitization Of Culture" (2008). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 3801.