Soland will discuss the creation of a new digital museum exhibit that explores the social and environmental impact of uranium mining on the Four Corners region. Starting during the post-World War II era, government officials and industry insiders harkened to mythologized version of the country's frontier legacy to promote a uranium boom that fueled the Cold War arm race and nuclear energy development. The onset of "uranium fever" contributed to region's unique cultural identity in a meaningful way, but it also left serious questions about the industry's long-term effects on health and the environment, especially in regards to Native people and their lands. The exhibit showcases the Center of Southwest Studies' collections on uranium mining and uranium mill tailings removal. The digital nature of this exhibit illustrates how the Center of Southwest Studies can reach out the community in new ways by engaging members of the public who might not be able to physically attend a traditional exhibit.
Peter is the Center’s 2016-2017 doctoral fellow in Southwestern history. The fellowship is a collaborative effort between the Center, Fort Lewis College, and the graduate program in the history department at the University of Arizona. Soland has spent this academic year in residence at the Center conducting research, in addition to teaching in the College’s department of history.