How Germany fell in love with Native Americans

BOZEMAN –A scholar from the University of Iowa will give a free public lecture about the affinity for American Indians in German culture at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Feb.10, in the Ballroom B in the Strand Union Building at Montana State University.

H. Glenn Penny, a professor of modern European history in the Department of History at the University of Iowa, will lecture on "German/European Masculinity and the American West: Performing Indigeneity."

Penny will discuss the history of "passing" and the signifiers of the American West as used in Europe. More specifically, he will focus on a mixed-race American soldier who became the darling of the hobbyist movement in postwar Germany.

Penny's work explores the relationships between Europeans and non-Europeans from the 18th century to the present, with a focus on Germans' broad engagement with the wider world. His first book, "Objects of Culture: Ethnology and Ethnographic Museums in Imperial Germany" was published in 2003. "Kindred by Choice: Germans and American Indians Since 1800," published in 2013, explores the striking sense of affinity for American Indians that has permeated German culture for two centuries. It shows how those affinities stem from German polycentrism, notions of tribalism, a devotion to resistance, a longing for freedom and a melancholy sense of shared fate.

Penny's lecture is sponsored by the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, and is presented by the College of Letters and Science's Distinguished Speakers Series. The series, which began in the spring of 2011, brings distinguished scholars to MSU to give a public talk and to meet with faculty and students in order to enrich the intellectual life on campus and to enhance research connections.

For more information about this and other L&S Distinguished Speakers Series lectures, please visit or call 994-4288.

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