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Tisa Joy Wenger
Arizona State University (Tempe, AZ 85281-3670)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$5,000 (approved)
$5,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2006 – 7/31/2006

A Limited Freedom: The Pueblo Indian Dance Controversy and the Cultural Invention of Religion in America

In the Pueblo dance controversy of the 1920s, Pueblo Indians in New Mexico and their modernist allies effectively prevented the government from suppressing Pueblo dance ceremonies. They made their case for religious freedom by publicly defining the Pueblo dances as authentically religious, a strategy that expanded mainstream American views of religion even as it changed Pueblo strategies of self-representation. The book contributes to debates in religious studies and Native American studies by showing how the politics of religious freedom, in this controversy and elsewhere, are intertwined with evolving cultural definitions of religion.