David Treuer is a Professor of English at the University of Southern California. His Academy project, “The Savage Mind: An Essay on American Violence,” is a book-length personal essay about und...
The Savage Mind: Understanding Violence in America
Ever since Columbus arrived in the Caribbean, America has had a violence problem. Even before it achieved nationhood, the country and its cultural character were formed by the violent theft of land and freedom from human beings. This early brutality, and its constant reinvention and redeployment, has shaped us as a country and it carries through to the present day. In this lecture, David Treuer—son of a Native American mother and Jewish Holocaust-survivor father—describes America’s “savage mind” in its past and present incarnations and aims to reframe its causes and effects—and, ultimately, to change it.