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Consuming Landscapes: The View from the Road in the United States and Germany, 1920–1970

Thomas Zeller, University of Maryland, Fellow 2009/10

During my fellowship at Dumbarton Oaks, I made major progress on my book project, named above. While in residence, I read, evaluated, and organized a wide array of primary sources on the topic which I had collected over the previous years and added some new ones using the superb research infrastructure provided in the library both physically and online. In addition, I wrote chapter outlines and parts of individual chapters. My stay at Dumbarton Oaks was very productive not only because of the research opportunities that are provided here, but also because of the intellectual vibrancy of the Garden and Landscape Studies program. As a historian who specialized in environmental history and the history of technology, I found entry into the world of landscape studies because my colleagues John Beardsley, Grey Gundaker, Coco Alcalá, Michael Lee, Elsa Lam, and Stephen Whiteman allowed me to join their community. Over lunches, during and after public talks, we discussed many different approaches to landscape, but were always able to find common ground. I have to say that seeing such a catholic approach to landscape studies in action was not merely witnessing an effort at being inclusive. It showed, to be blunt, why landscape studies matter to the larger world. This is a memory that I will cherish for a long time and actively use in my teaching and research.

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