Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If You Use a Screen Reader

This content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.

A River Runs Through Us

Brett Williams
American Anthropologist
Vol. 103, No. 2 (Jun., 2001), pp. 409-431
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the American Anthropological Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/683474
Page Count: 23
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Download ($15.00)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
A River Runs Through Us
Preview not available

Abstract

The Anacostia River severs Washington, D.C. Military waste, urban runoff, and former farmland dirty the water, but people who live along its shores cherish the river and fight to make it clean. Political ecology, stressing the power relations, inequalities, connections, and contradictions that join natural and social processes over time, enlarges historical and anthropological theory in Washington. In this article I explore the experiences and perspectives of people who have lived along the Anacostia River over the last 10,000 years. Linked transformations in environmental and social processes repeatedly created unsettled, contradictory, and unjust relations between people and the natural and built environment. The pollution of the Anacostia River reflects colonialism and conquest: nationalism, militarism, empire; racism, inequality, and urban renewal. I begin with the British conquest, then turn to four successive moments in state formation: the founding of the capital, the invention of a strong central government, urban renewal in the capital core, and the contemporary development of the waterfront. The use values of people who live along the river conflict with the exchange values that have dominated the city's history. The city's environmental justice movement has emerged from these use values and today confronts a massive redevelopment plan that exploits and undermines the movement.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
[409]
    [409]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
410
    410
  • Thumbnail: Page 
411
    411
  • Thumbnail: Page 
412
    412
  • Thumbnail: Page 
413
    413
  • Thumbnail: Page 
414
    414
  • Thumbnail: Page 
415
    415
  • Thumbnail: Page 
416
    416
  • Thumbnail: Page 
417
    417
  • Thumbnail: Page 
418
    418
  • Thumbnail: Page 
419
    419
  • Thumbnail: Page 
420
    420
  • Thumbnail: Page 
421
    421
  • Thumbnail: Page 
422
    422
  • Thumbnail: Page 
423
    423
  • Thumbnail: Page 
424
    424
  • Thumbnail: Page 
425
    425
  • Thumbnail: Page 
426
    426
  • Thumbnail: Page 
427
    427
  • Thumbnail: Page 
428
    428
  • Thumbnail: Page 
429
    429
  • Thumbnail: Page 
430
    430
  • Thumbnail: Page 
431
    431