I study how people have constructed--physically and metaphorically--the urban
environment in which they live. I am completing a book manuscript in which I explore how
urban memorials and public art reveal the changing nature of cities and community
identity in the twentieth century. The Cleveland Cultural Gardens and Northern
Ohio's vernacular landscape serve as a lens through which to refract a broader story
of changing urban landscapes across the nation. I am also researching air racing,
exploring how Americans constructed identity, risk, and spectacle in the first half of
the twentieth century. 

In 2003, Johns Hopkins published my study of firefighters and fire insurers, Eating
Smoke: Fire in Urban America, 1800-1950. Eating Smoke examined how firefighters and
insurers sought to curtail the risk of fire, and in the process gave shape to city
development. 

I coordinate the department's social studies program; I have written three U.S.
Department of Education Teaching American History Grants (over $4 million). I am
directing Rivers, Roads, & Rails, which uses the history of the landscapes along the
Ohio & Erie Canalway as a vehicle for teaching American history. I am also Academic
Director for the Sounds of America History, which explores how the history of sound can
be used to teach US History. 

Articles

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Sculpted Landscapes: Art & Place in Cleveland's Cultural Gardens, 1916-2006, Journal of Social History (2010)

Perhaps the world's first peace garden, the Cleveland Cultural Gardens embody the history of twentieth-century...

 

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Pursuing E-Opportunities in the History Classroom, Journal of American History (2003)

Provides information on utilizing electronic opportunities when teaching U.S. history. Factors influencing electronic opportunities for...

 

Books

Eating Smoke: Fire in Urban America, 1800-1950, History Department Books (2003)

During the period of America's swiftest industrialization and urban growth, fire struck fear in the...

 

Book Reviews

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Review of Asbestos and Fire: Technological Tradeoffs and the Body at Risk., Enterprise and Society (2007)

Book review of Asbestos and Fire: Technological Tradeoffs and the Body at Risk by Rachel...

 

Link

Review of Next to Godliness: Confronting Dirt and Despair in Progressive Era New York City, Environmental History (2007)

Review of Next to Godliness: Confronting Dirt and Despair in Progressive Era New York City...

 

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Review of Shared Spaces and Divided Places: Material Dimensions of Gender Relations and the American Historical Landscape., Journal of American History (2004)

Reviews the book "Shared Spaces and Divided Places: Material Dimensions of Gender Relations and the...

 

Presentations

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2011 Scholars and Artists Bibliography (with Michael Schwartz Library, Cleveland State University and Friends of the Michael Schwartz Library), Scholars and Artists Bibliographies (2011)

This bibliography was created for the annual Friends of the Michael Schwartz Library Scholars and...