Event Date: 

Dissertation Proposal Defense: Angelika Joseph

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You are cordially invited to attend

the Dissertation Proposal Defense of Angelika Joseph


Red Power Takeover: 

Native American Activists, Colonial Landscapes, and the Design of Sovereignty


To be held on


Thursday, December 1, 2022, 4:30pm


Room S-118




This dissertation argues that the Red Power Movement (1969–1973) was a Native American design renaissance. Every protest involved the takeover of colonial architecture: frontier-era forts; Bureau of Indian Affairs offices; Department of Defense property; seemingly mundane governmental infrastructure; national iconography, including Mount Rushmore, Ellis Island; and the infamous Wounded Knee massacre site. Activists used takeovers as historiographical interventions to make colonial history contemporary again for the non-Indigenous public. Internally, takeovers functioned as intergenerational intertribal design laboratories in which activists debated and developed decolonial and Indigenous design principles. Uniting spatial and cultural modes of analysis, this dissertation examines the strategies activists used to engineer political transformations, weaponizing landscapes shaped by their oppressors against the state and creating new worlds within old architectural forms. Analyzing Indigenous sovereignty as an architectural project—treating activists as design historians, theorists, and practitioners—this dissertation illuminates an overlooked history of decolonization through design in the United States.



Beatriz Colomina, Howard Crosby Butler Professor of the History of Architecture, Princeton University

Alison Isenberg, Professor of History, Princeton University