Ph.D., Program in History of Science, Technology and Medicine, University of Minnesota
2022 to 2023
Making Atomic History in New Mexico
New Mexico is uniquely connected to atomic history. Despite these lasting and complex connections, however, the state is often ignored in nuclear histories after the end of the Manhattan Project. This project will focus on how New Mexicans themselves have created understandings of their place in nuclear history, specifically highlighting who has been included and excluded in that history-making and how understandings of the present and future are placed within the context of atomic legacies. These local histories have international meanings, and will be interrogated along lines of memory, identity, and popular understandings of nuclear legacies and of history. How have New Mexican voices created histories that have more commonly been constructed by outsiders? How did the uncertainties of the Cold War affect local history-making by scientific institutions and nuclear heritage sites? New Mexico's unique and meaningful atomic histories illuminate fraught and nuanced interrelationships within a nuclear landscape.