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Title:Constructing the Navajo Capital: Landscape, Power, and Representation at Window Rock
Author(s):Leibowitz, Rachel
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Harris, Dianne
Department / Program:Landscape Architecture
Discipline:Landscape Architecture
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Abstract:This dissertation considers the physical and spatial ordering of buildings and people---the landscape---to follow political and social agendas. In this study, I demonstrate how Window Rock, a multi-million-dollar project of the Public Works Administration (PWA), was used as the centerpiece for OIA Commissioner John Collier's "Indian New Deal," focusing on the ways in which architectural styles, spatial relationships throughout the site, and construction technologies were used to establish cultural hierarchies and reinforce discrimination against Navajos in their own homeland, despite other attempts by that administration to promote cultural pluralism. I contend that the design of Window Rock did not reflect the values or concerns of most Dine at the time, but instead represented the "Indianness" of the users as imagined by the OIA and its architects working in New York City. Through analysis of these buildings' placement throughout the site and the "traditional" or "indigenous" iconography within them, I reveal how the built environment of Window Rock was intended to obscure the power struggle between Collier's OIA, the newly-formed Navajo Tribal Council, and Dine living throughout the reservation, as well as the manner in which many Dine resisted spatial control.
Issue Date:2008
Description:453 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2008.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3314835
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-28
Date Deposited:2008

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