'The Foundations of Glen Canyon Dam' on Wednesday's Access Utah
The Glen Canyon Dam is the second highest concrete-arch dam in the United States, and was built to control the flow of the Colorado River throughout the Western U.S. In her new book The Foundations of Glen Canyon Dam: Infrastructures of Dispossession on the Colorado Plateau, Erika Bsumek says that more than a massive piece of physical infrastructure and an engineering feat, the story of the dam reveals a pattern of Indigenous erasure. She says that infrastructures of dispossession teach us that we cannot tell the stories of religious colonization, scientific exploration, regional engineering, environmental transformation, or political deal-making as disconnected from Indigenous history.
Erika Marie Bsumek is an associate professor of history at the University of Texas at Austin. She is the author of the award-winning Indian-made: Navajo Culture in the Marketplace, 1848–1940 and the co editor of Nation States and the Global Environment: New Approaches to International Environmental History.