WHO WISC Fellow-in-Residence Dr. Jennifer Denetdale of UNM’s Feminist Research Institute

WHAT Dr. Jennifer Denetdale presents “The Photographs of Milton Snow and the Making of the Modern Navajo Nation, 1937-1959”

WHEN June 5, 2019 5:30pm 

WHERE Jean Cocteau Cinema 418 Montezuma Ave Santa Fe, NM 87501

WISC thanks UNM’s Feminist Research Institute for collaborating on producing this fellowship and Jean Cocteau Cinema for partnering in producing this event.  

Register for Event


Presentation info

The Women’s International Study Center presents Dr. Jennifer Denetdale. 

“The Photographs of Milton Snow and the Making of the Modern Navajo Nation, 1937-1959”

In 1937 Milton Snow was hired by the Navajo Service to photograph the environmental devastation to Navajo land in the aftermath of Indian Commissioner John Collier’s draconian livestock reduction. Collier’s policies intended to rehabilitate Navajo land and to provide Navajos with technical and agricultural knowledge that would improve the land and also revitalize the economy, which had been heavily dependent on livestock raising. Milton Snow was hired during New Deal Reforms happening throughout the U.S. in the face of the Great Depression. Snow’s photographs were intended to provide documentary evidence of federal policies that worked to rehabilitate the Navajo economy as well as to demonstrate Navajo movement to American democratic principles. My proposed project showcases the Snow photographs to argue that an American progressive reform project for Navajos intended to remake them into reflections of American citizens who embrace democratic ideals, from land use to governance to the family and domestic.


Dr. Jennifer Nez Denetdale, Diné, is from Tohatchi, New Mexico, Navajo Nation, is an associate professor of American Studies at the University of New Mexico. She is the author of Reclaiming Diné History: The Legacies of Navajo Chief Manuelito and Juanita(2007), two Navajo histories for young adults, and numerous essays, articles, and book chapters. Her scholarship, teaching, service is devoted to Critical Indigenous Studies, Indigenous feminists and gender studies, and DinéStudies. Dr. Denetdale was appointed to the Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission (NNHRC) by the Navajo Nation Council and currently serves as its chair. She has been recognized for her scholarship and service to her nation and community with several awards, including the Rainbow Naatsiilid True Colors for her support and advocacy on behalf of the Navajo LGBTQI.  In 2013, she was awarded the UNM Sarah Brown Belle award for service to her community. In 2017, she was awarded the UNM Presidential Award of Distinction.  ______________________________________________________________________

WOMEN’S INTERNATIONAL PROGRAM MANAGER’S NOTE WISC brings incredible scholars, artists and others to Santa Fe as fellows-in-residence. We hope you will attend their presentations, meet our fellows and support this important work by becoming a member.




Jordan Young
Executive Director
Women’s International StudyCenter