Winter Speaker Series: Sara Gregg
The Vermont Commission on Country Life devised a notorious eugenics research program for the state, but its participants were simultaneously engaged in coordinating a systematic survey of the state that sought to articulate a program for the future. After more than a century of outmigration, those who had stayed behind were left reckoning with how best to support their families and communities on often-challenging terrain; it was only in the 1930s that state agencies turned their attention to planning for social and landscape change. Weaving together the threads of landscape change and state planning that oriented Gregg’s 2010 book, Managing the Mountains, this talk examines the developments that shaped the evolving economy and political culture of Vermont during a pivotal century in its transformation.
Sara M. Gregg (Ph.D., Columbia University) is an associate professor of History whose work focuses on environmental change, agricultural history, and land policy. Her current project, "Little Piece of Earth: The Hidden History of Homesteading on the Great Plains," examines the process of state formation in the US West from the first years in the contact zone through the several Homestead Acts and into the present. She is the author of Managing the Mountains: Land Use Planning, the New Deal, and the Creation of a Federal Landscape in Appalachia (Yale, 2010); co-editor of the anthology American Georgics: Writings on Farming, Culture, and the Land (Yale, 2011); a fellow of the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society in Munich, Germany; an associate fellow of the Center for Great Plains Studies; and a co-convenor of the Women’s Environmental History Network (WHEN).