All posts tagged: Research

Volunteers Wanted

Do you like to go outside? Do you hike? Walk? Meander? Saunter? Are you a Flaneur in nature? Are you a “mall walker?” Do you use a pedometer at work? Do you also enjoy new and interesting things on the Internet? I am looking for volunteers to use the National Park Service’s iHike program to assist in an exploration of the website. The NPS created a fascinating program geared toward getting more people outside under the federal Let’s Move! program, and I want to see how well it works. iHike, The National Park Service Please consider participating in a very low-key experience. No particular skills are necessary, just a willingness to have fun in nature and post about it through iHike. If you wish to participate, please contact Sarah by May 5, 2017.   Advertisements

Can Digital Technology Make Us More Compassionate to the Environment?

When was the last time you took a cell phone out of your pocket to snap a picture of a landscape or sunset for your Instagram account? #nature #mountains #sunset #inspiration #earth #outdoors #tranquility #breathtaking #OMG Do you ever watch Youtube videos of summit groups on the top of Mount Everest or rock climbers in the High Sierra? Are you super excited about the new season of the BBC’s Planet Earth? Why are Americans drawn to experiencing nature through their screen? One could say that this is a natural evolution from the genre of naturalist writing (think: Thoreau) to the medium that most Americans consume today in a visually based culture. As cultural historian Karal Ann Marling writes, the increased popularity of television in the 1950s produced an American popular culture where the visual became the most important of the five senses.[1] The way Americans interact with the world today is directly connected to the visual aspect of things. In fact, reading about and looking at nature are entirely different experiences that may show us a little of what …

A Photograph and a Painting: William Henry Jackson, Thomas Moran, and Capturing Yellowstone Vistas

  William Henry Jackson is one of the best-known photographers of the nineteenth-century, publishing images of the Yellowstone wilderness as a member of the government-sponsored Hayden Survey before it was a national park and documenting the White City during the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition for tourists and posterity. He became a legendary figure in the narrative of National Park history, and living to almost one hundred years, served as a link between the twentieth-century obsession with the west and the myth of the frontier. Through the antebellum era there was a widespread assumption that the West was uninhabitable for “civilized men.”[1] It was too desert-like to be worthwhile. Eventually, this belief gave way to a large-scale welcoming of frontier expansion by the general population for Euro-American settlers as a result of conclusions derived under the directorship of Ferdinand V. Hayden (1829-1887) during the U.S. Geological and Geographical Survey of the Territories. These surveys helped to “[destroy] the myth of the desert and legislat[e] the myth of the garden in its stead.”[2] Hayden approached Jackson in …

Once a Legend, Always a Legend: Modern Interpretations of Sleepy Hollow in Film

[This is a short version of ongoing research on a super fun topic – Irving, Disney, and Burton! What more could you want?] Washington Irving’s Legend of Sleepy Hollow (1819-1820) begins as a posthumous secret, hidden within the collection of The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. There is a closeness created between the reader and author due to the confession: “Found among the papers of the late Diedrich Knickerbocker.”  Although now Sleepy Hollow is separated from the original anthology, Americans read and know the text, still feeling a sense of intimacy with the legend. Yet, Legend was not a long-established story at the time of Irving’s publication. He is no Homer. He is not finally transcribing the Odyssey. It is, though, America’s legend. Irving makes it easy on us and states the fact in the title. Why wait for a story to become a legend when one can simply authorize it to be so? Hubris aside, Irving’s short story strikes a chord with multiple generations of American readers and viewers due to the fluidity …

Ha Ha Tonka: Not just a state park.

It is October!! I failed to continue a working blog in the beginning weeks of my PhD program. Nevertheless, I will not let this keep me from the ultimate goal: a useful template to hash out ideas and to (eventually) provoke conversation between academics, bloggers, cultural historians, musicians, artists, students, military historians, colleagues, and et cetera. This is the “big goal,” but for now, I will stick to writing about things that interest me – just for the sake of writing about them. Blogging is a great stage to reject academic “lingo” in favor of a more enjoyable style. This week, with the help of the most [insert superlative] academic advisor, I started exploration into my dissertation focus. There will be more on this later. Today, I want to dive into a topic that I will not be able to pursue academically, but something seriously on my mind. I like music. Actually, I love music. One of the more difficult questions to answer is, “What kind of music do you listen to?” I feel like …