Eleanor Mahoney

  • PhD Candidate
  • Pre-Doctoral Instructor, HSTAA 372

M.A. Public History, Loyola University Chicago, B.A. History and French, Amherst College

Fields: 20th Century United States, Environmental History, Public History, American Indian Histories, Labor History

I study the intersections of labor, landscape and memory in 20th century America. My dissertation argues that the decades following World War II marked a turning point in the preservation of landscapes in the United States. As a result of volatile changes in production and consumption, familiar places disappeared and longstanding and traditional practices, often associated with labor, came under threat. In response, local coalitions, in partnership with the federal government, organized to preserve the other-than-economic values (historical, ecological, cultural) of their homes, workplaces and broader communities. These initiatives, which centered on the designation of new parks and other protected areas, sought to creatively recognize the intersection of human and non-human nature, while also mitigating the impacts of capital flight or rapid investment. In doing so, the projects challenged not only the boundaries of conservation practice and land use, but also of market-driven development and decline. 

I have also researched visual arts of the New Deal-era with an emphasis on Washington State. 

Prior to beginning my doctoral studies, I worked for the National Park Service as Assistant National Coordinator for Heritage Areas and for a variety of heritage conservation, public history and labor organizations in Appalachia, the Chesapeake Bay region and New Mexico.  I am the Associate Editor of the Living Landscape Observer, a website that seeks to bring together diverse constituencies interested in land conservation, heritage preservation, and sustainable community development as well as an Associate Editor for the Pacific Northwest Labor and Civil Rights History Project. I am also the co-editor of a collection of oral histories, Above the Smoke: A Family Album of the Pocahontas County Fire Towers.

Bibliography:

BOOKS:

Above the Smoke: A Family Album of Pocahontas County Fire Towers. Co- edited with LeAnna Alderman. Dunmore, WV: Pocahontas Communications Cooperative, 2005.

REVIEWS:

Review of Gambling on Ore: The Nature of Metal Mining in the United States, 1860-1910, by Kent A. Curtis, in Pacific Northwest Quarterly (forthcoming)

Review of "Vista House at Crown Point State Park" in The Public Historian, 32, no. 4 (2010): 130-134.

Review of From the Miners Doublehouse: Archaeology and Landscape in a Pennsylvania Coal Company Town, by Karen Bescherer Metheny, in CRM: The Journal of Heritage Stewardship (Winter 2008): 99-101.

ENCYCLOPEDIA ENTRIES:

Alfred Fairfax” in Blackpast.org: An Online Reference Guide to African American Culture and History

Virgil Garnett Trice, Jr.” in Blackpast.org: An Online Reference Guide to African American Culture and History

Green I. Currin” in Blackpast.org: An Online Reference Guide to African American Culture and History

“Agnes Smith Parrish” in The West Virginia Encyclopedia, ed. Ken Sullivan, (Charleston, West Virginia: West Virginia Humanities Council, 2006) p. 334.

“Sunrise Children’s Museum” in The West Virginia Encyclopedia, ed. Ken Sullivan, (Charleston, West Virginia: West Virginia Humanities Council, 2006) p. 450.

COMMENTARY:

See America in a New Light,” Living Landscape Observer, January 30, 2014

National Heritage Areas Worth Preserving and Promoting” NCPH Blog Hisory@Work, March 1, 2013

Parked: The Coburn Report,” Living Landscape Observer, December 2, 2013

Change Over Time in an Industrial Landscape,” Living Landscape Observer, July 31, 2013

Publications: