Dr. Dana Powell publishes new book on Navajo (Diné) sovereignty and energy development


Dr. Dana Powell has published a new book on Navajo (Diné) sovereignty and energy development. It appears in the "New Ecologies for the Twenty-First Century" series by Duke University Press. The introduction is now available to view online by clicking here.

In Landscapes of Power Dana E. Powell examines the rise and fall of the controversial Desert Rock Power Plant initiative in New Mexico to trace the po-litical conflicts surrounding native sovereignty and contemporary energy development on Navajo (Diné) Nation land. Powell's historical and ethnographic account shows how the coal-fired power plant project's defeat provided the basis for redefining the legacies of colonialism, mineral extraction, and environmentalism. Examining the labor of activists, artists, politicians, elders, technicians, and others, Powell emphasizes the generative potential of Na-vajo resistance to articulate a vision of autonomy in the face of twenty-first-century colonial conditions. Ultimately, Powell situates local Navajo struggles over energy technology and infrastructure within broader sociocultural life, debates over global cli-mate change, and tribal, federal, and global politics of extraction. The book is now available from Duke University Press.

"In this masterful study Dana E. Powell weaves a rich nar-rative that intertwines Navajo leaders' efforts to reverse a depressed economy with the complexities of the political at-mosphere, tribal sovereignty, the imperative to address envi-ronmental justice and climate change, and Navajo concerns about land use. Landscapes of Power is indispensable to the study of Native nations, their relationships to energy and de-velopment projects, and to understanding the Navajo nation's twenty-first-century history." — Jennifer Nez Denetdale (Diné), University of New Mexico

"Expertly tracing the legacy of the thwarted Desert Rock project, Dana E. Powell identifies an ethical project among Navajo activists that signals politics beyond straightforward environmentalism—a politics that matters for Navajo sover-eignty, territory, and ethical ways of life, as well as for en-ergy activism and policy everywhere. As with #NoDAPL and Standing Rock, the Desert Rock struggle goes to the core of what politics look like within, across, and in solidarity with Indian Country. This is essential reading."
— Jessica R. Cattelino, author of High Stakes: Florida Seminole Gaming and Sovereignty

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Published: Dec 19, 2017 12:29pm