50 YEARS SINCE THE TORCH WAS PASSED: THE SIERRA CLUB AND THE FOUNDING OF CONGAREE NATIONAL PARK

By Neal D. Polhemus October 18, 1976, the date President Ford signed Public Law No. 94-545, is generally considered the birthday of Congaree National Park. But the campaign to save the rapidly disappearing old-growth forests across America, specifically those in the Congaree River floodplain, began much earlier.[1] A more fitting birthday would be October 25-26, […]

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Member of the Week: Vayne Ong

Vayne Ong Senior, History and Urban Studies Princeton University @vaynewyong Describe your current research. What about it drew your interest?  For my senior thesis, I’m researching the myths that emerged around which places were destroyed or preserved in the 1992 Rodney King urban rebellion. For example, why did a McDonald’s at the heart of the […]

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The Way Concrete Goes

In this, our third entrant into the Third Annual UHA/The Metropole Graduate Student Blogging Contest, Vyta Baselice takes us through the life cycle of concrete. To understand how this construction material moves from birth to death, Baselice has us travel from Pennsylvania in the late nineteenth century to mid-twentieth century New York City, before boomeranging […]

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Member of the Week: Kara Murphy Schlichting

Kara Murphy Schlichting Assistant Professor of History Queens College, City University of New York Describe your current research. What about it drew your interest?  I thought I would be an environmental historian of the American West, particularly the Utah desert (really).  But my first year in graduate school at Rutgers reinforced to me that environment was also everyday […]

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Member of the Week: Dorothee Brantz

Dorothee Brantz Center for Metropolitan Studies Technische Universität Berlin, Germany Describe your current research. What about it drew your interest?  I am currently working on two new projects – one about the impact of seasons on urban life in the US and Europe between 1900 and 2000. The other asks about the role of nature […]

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Member of the Week: Jessica Elfenbein

Jessica Elfenbein Professor of History University of South Carolina Describe your current research. What about it drew your interest?  I’m working on a community study of a now-disappeared place called Ferguson, SC. In the decades following Reconstruction, Chicago lumbermen Benjamin F. Ferguson (1840-1905) and Francis Beidler (1854-1924) made their way to South Carolina, acquired–at bargain […]

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Member of the Week: Ellen Hartman

Ellen Hartman Research Landscape Architect, US Army Corps of Engineers Construction Engineering Research Laboratory Part-time PhD Student, Department of Landscape Architecture, University of Illinois Describe your current research. What about it drew your interest?  My current research at work covers a few areas, but it’s mostly focused on military aspects of cultural resources management and […]

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Member of the Week: John Fairfield

John D. Fairfield Xavier University, Cincinnati, OH Describe your current research. What about it drew your interest?  I’m currently working on several projects. I recently drafted an essay on my late friend/mentor/editor Zane L. Miller called “’The Metropolitan Mode of Thought’: Zane L. Miller and the History of Ideas.” I hope it will be part […]

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The Power of Urban Improvisation: Lawrence Powell’s The Accidental City

Famed geographer Carl Suer once wrote: “Culture is the agent, the natural area the medium, the cultural landscape the result.” To put it less eloquently, people shape the landscape through husbandry, conservation, and architecture, and the end results speak volumes. While New Orleans might not be the perfect encapsulation of such an idea, as evidenced […]

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