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EWU Hosts Landmarks Workshop

Published: July 13, 2017

CHENEY, Washington - Eastern Washington University will host two weeklong workshops for school teachers from across the country to explore the historical and contemporary significance of the Grand Coulee Dam to the economy, culture and society in the Pacific Northwest with particular focus on indigenous peoples of the region.

Funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the workshops "Grand Coulee Dam: The Intersection of Modernity and Indigenous Cultures" will be attended by 70 K-12 educators July 16-29 inside Patterson Hall (140) on the EWU campus.

Sponsored by EWU and the University of Arizona (UA), the event will be led by Co-Directors Dorothy Zeisler-Vralsted, professor of International Affairs and Political Science at EWU, and David Pietz, UNESCO Chair of Environmental History at the UA. Workshop sessions will be led by faculty members from both institutions.

The workshops explore how different social groups experience history - actual historical events, and the memory of those events. More specifically, the project unpacks the history of Grand Coulee Dam as a landmark of contested story. One narrative celebrated the social, economic and cultural power of modernity. The other focuses on the loss of indigenous cultural identities and practices. Participants will explore these historical dynamics in discussion with experts, site visits and engagement with primary historical material including oral histories, art, song and photographs.

The goal of the workshops is to equip K-12 teachers with unique and meaningful frameworks to engage their humanities and social science students in conversations centered on how social groups experience and interpret transformative changes of the landscape.

The grant comes from the NEH Landmarks of American History and Culture program that seeks to use major historic sites in the United States to address central themes and issues in American history, government, literature, art, music and related subjects in the humanities.

For more information please contact: Dorothy Zeisler-Vralsted (dzeislervral@ewu.edu; 509.359.6998) or David Pietz (dpietz@email.arizona.edu; 509.592.7129).      

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