Recent Submissions

  • Preserving reflections of ourselves: the past, present, and future of Alaska's museums

    Linn, Angela J.; Ehrlander, Mary; Koskey, Michael; Jonaitis, Aldona (2023-12)
    While museums are very good at collecting, preserving, documenting, and interpreting the histories of our communities, we have not done a very good job with our own histories. No comprehensive publication holistically examines the development of museums in Alaska, let alone looks critically at the "big three" (Alaska State Museums, University of Alaska Museum of the North, and the Anchorage Museum) with a goal of establishing a connection between the historical context, the individuals who shaped those museums, and the institutions' current states of being. This dissertation uses the academic fields of history, museology, and ethnography to discover and analyze how we find ourselves in the current state, while offering suggestions for moving ahead in a positive way. In this dissertation I examine the past, present, and future of Alaska's museums. I do this by first assembling a more complete history of the "big three" using archival primary sources, published literature, and interviews. Second, I examine the current state of museums with their strengths and challenges through a combination of literature review, interviews, surveys, and participant observation. Finally, I consider the way Alaska's museums might respond to the changes facing museums around the world by reflecting on current museological literature, current events, and examining two case studies based on my work at the University of Alaska Museum of the North located on the campus of the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
  • Haa léelk'w hás ji.eetí, our grandparents' art: a study of master Tlingit artists, 1750-1989

    Jones, Zachary R.; Heaton, John; Jonaitis, Aldona; Schneider, William; Walz, Robin (2018-12)
    This dissertation examines the lives and creations of twenty-three master Tlingit artists that practiced in Southeast Alaska between 1750 and 1989. Biographical examination of master Tlingit artists showcases how artists created sacred art objects, known as at.óow, which play a central role in the social and spiritual life of the Tlingit people. Historic Tlingit artists came from the aanyádi, the aristocratic class, and were tasked with the responsibility of not only creating sacred art, but also serving as community leaders and exemplifying Tlingit values throughout their lives. The study of Tlingit artists and their creations also sheds light on objects omitted by previous scholars, highlights the overlooked work of female artists, and challenges outdated approaches to the study of Northwest Coast Indian art.
  • Home Schooling In Alaska: Extreme Experiments In Home Education

    Hanson, Terje Ann (2000)
    This study explores the history of home schooling in Alaska. The 49<super> th</super> state offers an unusual degree of freedom from regulation that allows diverse and innovative experiments in home education to flourish. Currently, Alaskan home schoolers enjoy more freedom to practice their craft than in any other state of the United States. <p> Alaska has never had enough money to deliver quality education to its children. Trying to establish an education system, to serve a small population scattered over more than half-a-million square miles, required the development of innovative methods: one of these was home schooling. Home schooling provides a low cost answer to educate Alaska's children, and became an accepted institution in Alaskan education. Today home schooling continues to deliver lower cost education to both the remote and urban student, in the North, but also offers myriad options for parents who demand more and greater flexibility in educating their children. <p>
  • The History Of The Social And Economic Importance Of Second Avenue And The Core Area Of Fairbanks, Alaska

    Scholle, Marie M. (1996)
    The City of Fairbanks changed and evolved over the years. The fifty years of the core-area's roller coaster economy was a mirror reflection of the city, as a whole. The infamous Second Avenue, also known as "Two Street," held a key to social reform and economic growth. This thesis explored the issues surrounding the social infrastructure of the "core-area" and how that infrastructure affected the economy of downtown Fairbanks.<p> In addition to the social and cultural phenomena, the political influences and their effect on the core-area's economic and social development was discussed. The government played a pivotal role in the economic direction of the downtown business district.<p> The conclusion of this thesis showed that the core-area of Fairbanks no longer enjoyed the status of the economic mainstay of the Fairbanks economy. However, this area was held as a historical business district and social gathering place for many Fairbanks events. <p>
  • The Role Of Women In The Founding And Development Of Fairbanks, Alaska, 1903-1923

    Movius, Phyllis Demuth; Mangusso, Mary (1996)
    Women of varying backgrounds participated in the founding and development of Fairbanks. This thesis will present portraits of four women who are representative of these variances, arrived in Fairbanks prior to the opening of the Alaska Railroad and the arrival of big mining, and who left written records of their lives.<p> Separated from her husband when she came to Alaska from Dawson, Ellen Gibson struggled to gain elusive financial security. Jessie Bloom immigrated from Ireland as a new bride intent on establishing a home based on European Jewish tradition. Margaret Keenan thrived in an environment that allowed professional advancement. Mary Lee Davis accompanied her husband to Fairbanks and enjoyed social advantage and a successful writing career.<p> Women's experiences in early Fairbanks parallel those of women on the American western frontier in the 1800s. However, river transportation into the Interior and technological advances nationwide gave the twentieth-century Alaska pioneers an advantage. <p>