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Southwest Seminar

The Southwest Summer Seminar offers an unparalleled cultural experience taking you from the ancient Anasazi Ruins of Chaco Canyon and Mesa Verde to the living American Indian Reservations of the Navajo, Hopi and Pueblos.  Along the way students raft the whitewaters of the San Juan River, exploring the nearly inaccessible Anasazi cliff dwellings and examining ancient rock art.  Guided by a Navajo archaeologists students view the spectacular mesas and buttes of the Southwest and gain an understanding of the relationship of the Navajo to the land through their own words and stories.  Taking the famous “Narrow Gauge Railroad” through back-country mountain passes at 14,000 feet from Durango to Silverton, Colorado, we learn about the history of mining in the West.  Hiking to the bottom of the Grand Canyon to live near the Havasupai Indian waterfalls, students learn about cultural survival.  And they experience the religion, foodways and lifeways of Navajo, Hopi and Pueblo Indians as they make their way to Santa Fe to learn about the history of northern New Mexico and its Native American Peoples.  Ultimately, students learn how ancient and modern peoples in the Four Corners region have been influenced by but also have impacted their environment – the high desert.  Environmental issues of water and agricultural productivity, trade, and land ownership are explored, as well as current political issues of water rights, mining and relocation of American Indians onto less than optimal lands.

June 19 - July 3, 2012

Dr. Lampman and Dr. Markin brought a contingent of Washington College students to the Four Corners region of the United States to explore the cultures and environment from an anthropological perspective.