Matching Items (19)

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The role of the performing arts in postwar Phoenix, Arizona: patrons, performers, and the public

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Civic leadership in Phoenix, Arizona promoted the city's performing arts as part of a deliberate plan towards the larger growth agenda after World War II. From the 1940s through the

Civic leadership in Phoenix, Arizona promoted the city's performing arts as part of a deliberate plan towards the larger growth agenda after World War II. From the 1940s through the late 1960s, the business and professional leaders who controlled city government served on boards for performing arts groups, built venues, offered financial support, and sometimes participated as artists in order to attract high-technology firms and highly skilled workers to the area. They believed one aspect of Phoenix's urban development included a need for quality, high-culture performing arts scene that signaled a high quality of life and drew more residents. After this era of boosterism ended and control shifted from business and professional leaders to city government, performing arts support fluctuated with leadership's attitudes and the local, state, and national economies. The early civic leaders were successful in their overall mission to expand the city - now the sixth largest in the nation - and many of the organizations and venues they patronized still serve the community; however, the commitment to developing a quality arts and culture scene waned. Today's public, private, and arts and culture leaders are using the same argument as Phoenix tries once again to become a high-technology center. The theory that arts and culture stimulate the economy directly and indirectly is true today as it was in the 1940s. Although the plan was effective, it needed fully committed supporters, strong infrastructure, and continued revising in order to move the vision into the twenty-first century.

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  • 2013

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Re-imagining Surprise: the evolution of a twenty-first century boomburb, 1938-2010

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At the turn of the twenty-first century, the population of Surprise Arizona exploded, increasing from 31,000 to 100,000 in just eight years. Developers filled acres of former cotton fields and

At the turn of the twenty-first century, the population of Surprise Arizona exploded, increasing from 31,000 to 100,000 in just eight years. Developers filled acres of former cotton fields and citrus groves with walled neighborhoods of stucco and tile-roofed homes surrounded by palm trees and oleander bushes. Priced for middle-class families and retirees, this planned and standardized landscape stood in stark contrast to that of the town's first decades when dirt roads served migrant farm labor families living in makeshift homes with outdoor privies. This study explores how a community with an identity based on farm labor and networks of kinship and friendship evolved into an icon of the twenty-first century housing boom. This analysis relies on evidence from multiple sources. A community history initiative, the Surprise History Project, produced photographs, documents, and oral histories. City records, newspaper accounts, county documents, and census reports offer further insight into the external and internal factors that shaped and reshaped the meaning of community in Surprise. A socially and politically constructed concept, community identity evolves in response to the intricate interplay of contingencies, external forces, and the actions and decisions of civic leaders and residents. In the case of Surprise, this complex mix of factors also set the foundation for its emergence as a twenty-first century boomburb. The rapid expansion of the Phoenix metropolitan area, the emergence of age-restricted communities, and federal programs reset the social, economic, and political algorithms of the community. Internally, changing demographics, racial and ethnic diversity, and an ever-expanding population produced differing and continuously evolving ideas about community identity, a matter of intense importance to many. For seven decades, Surprise residents with competing ideas about place came into conflict. Concurrently, these individuals participated in official and vernacular events, activities, and celebrations. These gatherings, which evolved as the town grew and changed, also shaped community identity. While attending the Fourth of July festivities or debating city leaders' decisions at town council meetings, Surprise residents defined and redefined their community.

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  • 2012

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Undismayed by any mere man: women lawmakers and tax policy in Nevada, 1919-1956

Description

Women have played a vital role in Nevada's lawmaking process since first lobbying the Territorial Legislature in 1861. In subsequent decades, women increased in numbers as lobbyists, staff, and reporters.

Women have played a vital role in Nevada's lawmaking process since first lobbying the Territorial Legislature in 1861. In subsequent decades, women increased in numbers as lobbyists, staff, and reporters. By 1914, when Nevada women won the right to vote and be elected to office, male legislators were accustomed to a female presence in the Capitol. With enfranchisement, however, came a more direct role for women in the state's lawmaking process. Featuring the twenty-nine women who served in the Nevada Legislature in the first half of the twentieth century, this dissertation enhances knowledge about public women between what are commonly called the two feminist waves. In addition to a general analysis of their partisan and legislative activities, this dissertation specifically contemplates women's participation in shifting Nevada's tax base from residents to nonresidents. This dissertation argues that these women legislators were influenced primarily by their experiences in the business sector. Suffrage provided the opportunity to hold public office, but it did not define their politics. More useful for understanding women lawmakers in the first half of the twentieth century is what I call "fiscal maternalism." Women legislators mitigated their social concerns with their understanding of the state's economic limitations. Their votes on controversial issues such as legalized gambling, easy divorce, and regulated prostitution reflected a perspective of these issues as economic first and moral second. Demonstrating a motherly care for the state's economy and the tax burden on families, women invoked both their maternal authority and financial acumen to construct their legislative authority. Combining policy history and women's history, this dissertation documents that a legislator's sex did not necessarily predict her vote on legislation and advances the gendered analysis of state lawmaking beyond the dichotomy that emerges with the application of the label "women's issues." In addition, this dissertation demonstrates that the digitization of newspapers provides a fruitful new resource for historians, particularly those interested in women. The ability to search within articles removes the reliance on headlines and reveals that the previously-disregarded society pages are valuable tools for tracing women's business activities and political networks.

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Date Created
  • 2011

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Entering sacred ground: public history at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

Description

Baseball is the quintessential American game. To understand the country one must also understand the role baseball played in the nation's maturation process. Embedded in baseball's history are (among other

Baseball is the quintessential American game. To understand the country one must also understand the role baseball played in the nation's maturation process. Embedded in baseball's history are (among other things) the stories of America's struggles with issues of race, gender, immigration, organized labor, drug abuse, and rampant consumerism. Over the better part of two centuries, the national pastime both reflected changes to American culture and helped shape them as well. Documenting these changes and packaging them for consumption is the responsibility of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York. Founded as a tourist attraction promoting largely patriotic values, in recent decades the Baseball Hall of Fame made a concerted effort to transform itself into a respected member of the history museum community--dedicated to displaying American history through the lens of baseball. This dissertation explores the evolution of the Baseball Hall of Fame from celebratory shrine to history museum through an analysis of public history practice within the museum. In particular, this study examines the ways the Hall both reflected and reinforced changes to American values and ideologies through the evolution of public history practice in the museum. The primary focus of this study is the museum's exhibits and analyzing what their content and presentation convey about the social climate during the various stages of the Baseball Hall of Fame's evolution. The principal resources utilized to identify these stages include promotional materials, exhibit reviews, periodicals, and photographic records, as well as interviews with past and present Hall-of-Fame staff. What this research uncovers is the story of an institution in the midst of a slow transition. Throughout the past half century, the Hall of Fame staff struggled with a variety of obstacles to change (including the museum's traditionally conservative roots, the unquestioning devotion Americans display for baseball and its mythology, and the Hall of Fame's idyllic setting in a quaint corner of small-town America) that undermined their efforts to become the type of socially relevant institution many envisioned. Contending with these challenges continues to characterize much of the museum's operations today.

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  • 2013

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Baptized by saltwater: acts of remembrance and commemoration surrounding the USS Block Islands, CVE-21 & CVE-106

Description

The Second World War has been portrayed as the central event for understanding the history of America in the 20th Century. This dissertation will examine the acts of commemoration and

The Second World War has been portrayed as the central event for understanding the history of America in the 20th Century. This dissertation will examine the acts of commemoration and remembrance by veterans who served on the escort carriers, USS Block Island, CVE-21 & CVE-106. Acts of remembrance and commemoration, in this case, refer to the authorship of memoirs, the donation of symbolic objects that represent military service to museums, and the formation of a veteran's organization, which also serves as a means of social support. I am interested in the way stories of the conflict that fall outside the dominant narratives of the Second World War, namely the famous battles of land, sea, and air, have been commemorated by the veterans who were part of them. Utilizing primary source material and oral histories, I examine how acts of remembrance and commemoration have changed over time. An analysis of the shifting meanings sheds light on how individual memories of the war have changed, in light of the history of the larger war that continues to ignore small ships and sea battles.

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  • 2012

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Restricted citizenship: the struggle for Native American voting rights in Arizona

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This thesis explores the story behind the long effort to achieve Native American suffrage in Arizona. It focuses on two Arizona Supreme Court cases, in which American Indians attempted, and

This thesis explores the story behind the long effort to achieve Native American suffrage in Arizona. It focuses on two Arizona Supreme Court cases, in which American Indians attempted, and were denied the right to register to vote. The first trial occurred in 1928, four years after the Indian Citizenship Act granted citizenship to all Native Americans born or naturalized in the United States. The Arizona Supreme Court rejected the Native American plaintiff's appeal to register for the electorate, and subsequently disenfranchised Native Americans residing on reservations for the next twenty years. In 1948, a new generation of Arizona Supreme Court Justices overturned the court's previous ruling and finally awarded voting rights to all qualified Native Americans in the state. However, voting rights during the Civil Rights era did not necessarily mean equal voting rights. Therefore, this thesis also investigates how the Voting Rights Act of 1965 greatly reduced the detrimental effects of voter discrimination. This study examines how national events, like world war and the Great Depression influenced the two trials. In particular, this thesis focuses on the construction of political and social power in Arizona as it related to Native American voting rights. In addition, it discusses the evolution of native citizenship in the United States at large and for the most part within Arizona. The thesis also considers how the goal of native assimilation into American society affected American Indian citizenship, and how a paternalistic and conservative American Indian policy of the 1920s greatly influenced the outcome of the first trial. Another thread of this story is the development of mainstream white views of Native Americans. Lastly, this thesis identifies the major players of this story, especially the American Indian activists and their supporters whose courage and perseverance led to an outcome that positively changed the legal rights of generations of Native Americans in Arizona for years to come.

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  • 2011

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Creating the monuments: exploiting, owning, and protecting the past in Flagstaff, Arizona

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This dissertation begins with a simple question: By what process(es) have remote prehistoric ruins and natural wonders, particularly in the American Southwest, been transformed from interesting curiosities of the unknown

This dissertation begins with a simple question: By what process(es) have remote prehistoric ruins and natural wonders, particularly in the American Southwest, been transformed from interesting curiosities of the unknown frontier to American "national monuments"? If monuments, in their various forms, are understood as symbols of national and regional identities, then the National Park Service's (NPS) Flagstaff Area National Monuments (Walnut Canyon, Sunset Crater Volcano, and Wupatki) have been preserved for more than just their historic or scientific value. By tracing the story of these monuments from the era of European contact through the 1930s New Deal, when the NPS assumed full control, this dissertation explores the relationship between a community's sense of place or history and the creation - perhaps even invention or imagining - of some of America's first national monuments. I argue that there are three general cycles through which these sites progressed: periods of exploitation, ownership, and protection. In short, the possessive nature of natural and cultural resource exploitation (through early lumbering, ranching, pothunting, tourism, and the like) had the eventual effect of creating a sense of ownership of those resources, which, in turn, brought about the desire for their protection from exploitation and wholesale destruction. These shifts occurred as the people of Flagstaff developed a sense of place or history - a kind of intellectual ownership - through which Walnut Canyon, Wupatki, and Sunset Crater Volcano became an integral part of local, regional, and national identity. Each phase is therefore not mutually exclusive and changed only through the influence of external forces, like the federal government and the passage of legislation, but rather is part of a gradual process through which change is brought about on a number of levels - internal and external, local and national, individual and community-wide. The work that follows is based on a reading of the relevant literature in cultural resource management, as well as extensive research in period manuscript, newspaper, and photographic collections from Flagstaff to Washington, D.C.

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  • 2013

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Weaving a new shared authority: the Akwesasne Museum and community collaboration preserving cultural heritage, 1970-2012

Description

Museums reflect power relations in society. Centuries of tradition dictate that museum professionals through years of study have more knowledge about the past and culture than the communities they present

Museums reflect power relations in society. Centuries of tradition dictate that museum professionals through years of study have more knowledge about the past and culture than the communities they present and serve. As mausoleums of intellect, museums developed cultures that are resistant to relinquishing any authority to the public. The long history of museums as the authority over the past led to the alienation and exclusion of many groups from museums, particular indigenous communities. Since the 1970s, many Native groups across the United States established their own museums in response to the exclusion of their voices in mainstream institutions. As establishments preserving cultural material, tradition, and history, tribal museums are recreating the meaning of "museum," presenting a model of cooperation and inclusion of community members to the museum process unprecedented in other institutions. In a changing world, many scholars and professionals call for a sharing of authority in museum spaces in order to engage the pubic in new ways, yet many cultural institutions s struggle to find a way to negotiate the traditional model of a museum while working with communities. Conversely, the practice of power sharing present in Iroquois (Haudenosaunee) tradition shaped a museum culture capable of collaboration with their community. Focusing on the Akwesasne Museum as a case study, this dissertation argues that the ability for a museum to share authority of the past with its community is dependent on the history and framework of the culture of the institution, its recognition of the importance of place to informing the museum, and the use of cultural symbols to encourage collaboration. At its core, this dissertation concerns issues of authority, power, and ownership over the past in museum spaces.

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  • 2013

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Landscape of power, landscape of identity: the transforming human relationship with the Kootenai River Valley

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The Kootenai River landscape of southwestern British Columbia, northwestern Montana and the very northern tip of Idaho helped unify the indigenous Ktunaxa tribe and guided tribal lifestyles for centuries. However,

The Kootenai River landscape of southwestern British Columbia, northwestern Montana and the very northern tip of Idaho helped unify the indigenous Ktunaxa tribe and guided tribal lifestyles for centuries. However, the Ktunaxa bands' intimate connection with the river underwent a radical transformation during the nineteenth century. This study analyzes how the Ktunaxa relationship with the Kootenai River faced challenges presented by a new understanding of the meaning of landscape introduced by outside groups who began to ply the river's waters in the early 1800s. As the decades passed, the establishment of novel boundaries, including the new U.S.-Canadian border and reserve/reservation delineations, forever altered Ktunaxa interaction with the land. The very meaning of the river for the Ktunaxa as a source of subsistence, avenue of transportation and foundation of spiritual identity experienced similar modifications. In a matter of decades, authoritarian lines on foreign maps imposed a concept of landscape far removed from the tribe's relatively fluid and shifting understanding of boundary lines represented by the river at the heart of the Ktunaxa homeland. This thesis draws on early ethnographic work with the Ktunaxa tribe in addition to the journals of early traders and missionaries in the Kootenai region to describe how the Ktunaxa way of life transformed during the nineteenth century. The works of anthropologist Keith Basso and environmental philosopher David Abram are used to develop an understanding of the powerful implications of the separation of the Ktunaxa people from the landscape so essential to tribal identity and lifestyle. Two different understandings of boundaries and the human relationship with the natural world clashed along the Kootenai River in the 1800s, eventually leading to the separation of the valley's indigenous inhabitants from each other and from the land itself. What water had once connected, lines on maps now divided, redefining this extensive landscape and its meaning for the Ktunaxa people. However, throughout decades of dominance of the Western mapmakers' worldview and in spite of the overwhelming influence of this Euro-American approach to the environment, members of the Ktunaxa tribe have been able to maintain much of their traditional culture.

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  • 2013

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Three versions of history: the Tempe, Chandler, and Scottsdale history museums

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Since the initial impetus to collect, preserve, and interpret history with the intent of safeguarding American heritage for posterity, historical societies have made substantial contributions to the preservation of historical

Since the initial impetus to collect, preserve, and interpret history with the intent of safeguarding American heritage for posterity, historical societies have made substantial contributions to the preservation of historical records. Historical societies have tended to originate in socially exclusive groups and found history museums, celebratory in nature. In contemporary society, this exclusivity raises issues and concerns for contemporary institutions seeking to "serve the public." Tempe History Museum, Chandler Museum, and Scottsdale Historical Museum are examples of local history museums, initially formed by historical societies, which are currently at different stages of developing exhibits and collections more representative of their diverse communities. The three museums have different approaches to not only defining their local community but also to what it means to serve and represent their city by being the local history museum. In recent years, the Tempe History Museum has undergone a renovation of its facility and exhibits, the Chandler Museum is in the midst of transferring its collection to the City of Chandler and planning for a new facility, and the Scottsdale Historical Museum has remained largely the same since the early 1990s. The decisions made by the historical societies that found these museums have shaped and directed the museums' paths to becoming, or failing to become, relevant to their local communities. The Tempe, Chandler, and Scottsdale historical societies came from the Anglo-community within each city, so did the collections they acquired and the objects they displayed. At a time of rising social history, the historical societies presented socially exclusive museums. Becoming incorporated within the city government, would prove to be the point of change, the tipping point when the history museums moved from particularism to pluralism. The change, however, did not come overnight. It was change over time. The city governments had an obligation to equally represent its taxpayers and constituency, meaning that the newly incorporated museums had to eventually follow the same mission. In the case of Tempe, Chandler, and Scottsdale museums, incorporation within city governments has led to a stable funding source, professional staff, and a move towards representation of diverse communities within museum exhibits and programming.

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  • 2012