Winter Speaker Series: Bringing Geography Home: Genieve Lamson and the Vermont Commission on Country Life
On January 16, 1923, geographer Genieve Lamson (1887–1966) of Randolph became the first woman to address an annual meeting of the Vermont Historical Society in its 85-year history. Six years later, she took a leave from teaching at Vassar College to study population shifts, especially those of immigrant farm families, for the Vermont Commission of Country Life, best known today for its advocacy of eugenics. Bucking the biases of her employers, Lamson’s results celebrated pluralism, told marginalized women’s stories—and were sidelined. Marking the 100th anniversary of Lamson’s VHS address and Women’s History Month, this talk will bring to light Lamson’s long-overlooked work for the Commission and place it in the context of her education, politics, and career as an academic with an abiding passion for her home state and all its people.
Tom Anderson-Monterosso is preparing a thesis on Genieve Lamson as a student in the graduate program in history at the University of Vermont. He lives in Burlington. Tom’s work is supported by the David J. Haber/Robin D. Edelman Vermont History Research Scholar Award administered by the Center for Research on Vermont at UVM.