Engaging the History of the San Fernando Valley: Collections and "Synergy" at CSUN

Author(s): Diana Diaz

Year: 2017


Perceptions of southern California’s San Fernando Valley have long pertained to its relationship to adjacent Los Angeles, with the region over time characterized as either agricultural hinterland or faceless suburbia. Such stereotypes overlook the numerous historical associations and resources of the region, in the process subverting the identities and "communitas" of valley residents. In 2016 courses taught in the Department of Anthropology at California State University-Northridge (CSUN) have been collaboratively designed to create "synergy" associated with the San Fernando Valley in regards to history, space, and place. A particular focus has been archaeological resources from numerous valley localities curated at CSUN, including artifacts from Mission San Fernando, Rey de Hispana, and numerous nineteenth-century "adobes." These collections have never been synthesized, so evaluation in classroom laboratory settings offers the opportunity to engage local history and to involve students in the process. The results have expanded perceptions of the value of archaeological resources, the importance of local history, and the critical need for community engagement.

Cite this Record

Engaging the History of the San Fernando Valley: Collections and "Synergy" at CSUN. Diana Diaz. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431921)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -125.464; min lat: 32.101 ; max long: -114.214; max lat: 42.033 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16620