Journal of Northwest Anthropology
Sociology & Anthropology
In anthropology’s spatial turn, cultural anthropologists directed portions of their attention to the spaces in which human habitation takes shape. This article concerns the large planned spaces configured in the Modernist era of the twentieth century. Utilizing a fieldwork-based methodology that draws on the ethnographic toolkit, analysis compares and contrasts three large planned spaces located in Washington State: the former site of the Northern State Mental Hospital in Sedro-Woolley, the location in central Spokane at which Expo 74 was hosted, and the rural location of the never-completed Satsop Nuclear Facility near Elma, Washington. Our analysis suggests the singular use for which these sites were once constructed poses challenges for reconfiguring them to contemporary use. Notably, those sites with interconnections to nearby communities, and those that conjure or draw upon a broader social memory of place, have fared better in their path to the present.
Gardner, Andrew and Becca Murphy (2023) Big Parcels: Modernist Planing in Washington State History. Journal of Northwest Anthropology 57 (1): pp. 99-113.