Graduate Student Profile: Eleanor Mahoney

Eleanor Mahoney is a PhD Candidate in the History Department. Her dissertation examines changes in American land use patterns from roughly the Great Society to the election of Ronald Reagan. In particular, Mahoney traces connections between the rise of environmentalism in the 1970’s and the decline of industry – linkages frequently ignored in scholarly and popular histories of the period. Her work reveals that innovative approaches to land management often emerged in areas most impacted by economic change, particularly in regions where shifting production and consumption patterns endangered not only natural resources, but also cultural practices and traditions, including those connected to labor and work.

Mahoney holds an MA in Public History from Loyola University Chicago and is active in public and digital humanities. She serves as associate editor of the Living Landscape Observer, a website and newsletter focused on landscape-scale conservation. She has been an associate editor of the Pacific Northwest Labor and Civil Rights History Project and, in 2012, curated a special section on visual arts and the New Deal in Washington State. Mahoney is also an active participant in the Lake Union Laboratory, working with other graduate students and faculty from a variety of departments to plan and implement inter-disciplinary urban-centered research projects.

From 2008-2009, she worked for the National Park Service as Assistant National Coordinator for Heritage Areas and has also held a variety of positions with heritage conservation, public history and labor organizations in Appalachia, the Chesapeake Bay region and New Mexico. Mahoney is the co-editor of Above the Smoke: A Family Album of Pocahontas County Fire Towers, an oral history collection focused on fire control, conservation and local history in the Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia and Virginia.   

This year she was awarded two fellowships for study in New York State: an Anna K. and Mary E. Cunningham Research Residency at the New York State Library and a Larry J. Hackman Research Residency at the New York State Archives. She was also awarded a Digital History Fellowship from the Department for Summer 2014 for her digital database and mapping project related to her dissertation "Smokestacks to Sagebrush: Land Use in 1970s America.”

History Department Member: 

History PhD Candidate Eleanor Mahoney