Mountains of Controversy: Narrative and the Making of Contested Landscapes in Postwar American Astronomy

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Mountains of Controversy: Narrative and the Making of Contested Landscapes in Postwar American Astronomy

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Title: Mountains of Controversy: Narrative and the Making of Contested Landscapes in Postwar American Astronomy
Author: Swanner, Leandra Altha
Citation: Swanner, Leandra Altha. 2013. Mountains of Controversy: Narrative and the Making of Contested Landscapes in Postwar American Astronomy. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University.
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Abstract: Beginning in the second half of the twentieth century, three American astronomical observatories in Arizona and Hawai'i were transformed from scientific research facilities into mountains of controversy. This dissertation examines the histories of conflict between Native, environmentalist, and astronomy communities over telescope construction at Kitt Peak, Mauna Kea, and Mt. Graham from the mid-1970s to the present. I situate each history of conflict within shifting social, cultural, political, and environmental tensions by drawing upon narrative as a category of analysis. Astronomers, environmentalist groups, and the Native communities of the Tohono O'odham Nation, the San Carlos Apaches, and Native Hawaiians deployed competing cultural constructions of the mountains--as an ideal observing site, a "pristine" ecosystem, or a spiritual temple--and these narratives played a pivotal role in the making of contested landscapes in postwar American astronomy.
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Other Posted Material, as set forth at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:dash.current.terms-of-use#LAA
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:11156816
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