Research

Ashley Fowler, English

Advisor: Richard Dienst, English

This project employs Rebecca Solnit’s analytical method to consider the many intertwined histories of place. In particular, I examine the representation and act of dispossession in the Owens Valley in California. The Owens Valley is north of the Mojave Desert and in between the Sierra Nevada Mountains and White Mountains. There are many examples of violence and dispossession in this place—the displacement of Native populations, the Japanese internment camp, Manzanar, which operated during WWII, and water policy, specifically the construction of the LA Aqueduct, which takes water from the valley to Los Angeles. The valley is also interestingly strung between two wealthy entities—LA to the south and Mammoth to the north, a ski resort town. History in the valley can be told through a variety of methods—through examining landscape, through literary texts as well as photographs, landscape and otherwise, and federal documents which describe the establishment of National Parks or re-location native populations.