Snapshots of the Mississippi

Mississippi River

[Dear Edge Effects readers: today marks the beginning of our summer schedule. Until the end of August, we’ll be publishing once a week, on Tuesdays.]

Last week, faculty and graduate students from the UW-Madison Center for Culture, History, and Environment and the Rachel Carson Center in Munich embarked on a six-day trip down the Mississippi River. Beginning in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin and making it all the way to St. Louis, Missouri, the group pursued multiple ways of thinking about a river, ranging from geomorphology and political economies to food, native histories, literature, and music.

Several members of the Edge Effects editorial board—Daniel Grant, Elizabeth Hennessy, Nathan Jandl, Eric Nost, and Rebecca Summer—were part of the trip; here we share a small selection of our photographs documenting the experience. Stay tuned for upcoming pieces from other participants that further explore the mighty Mississippi!

Featured Image: In McGregor, Iowa, getting ready to embark on a boat ride along the Mississippi River through the Upper Mississippi Wildlife Refuge. Photo by Rebecca Summer.

Daniel Grant is a PhD student in the Department of Geography. His dissertation is a history of homelands threatened by environmental change in California. He has also studied environmental disasters as pivotal moments of prophetic storytelling which illuminated how people configured the faults of the past and envisioned future redemption. He also writes literary nonfiction. Website. Contact.

Elizabeth Hennessy serves as the faculty advising editor for Edge Effects and is Assistant Professor of World Environmental History in the Nelson Institute and History Department. A geographer by training, she is currently writing a book entitled On the Backs of Tortoises: The Past and Future of Evolution in the Galápagos Islands. Website. Contact.

Nathan Jandl serves as Managing Editor for Edge Effects and is a Ph.D. candidate in the English department, where he recently completed a dissertation entitled “Counter-Love: The Social Dimensions of Environmental Attachment in Twentieth-Century American Literature.” He also writes narrative nonfiction and takes photographs, both of which can be accessed via his Website. Contact.

Eric Nost is a Ph.D. student in Geography at UW-Madison. His research describes how technology—from interactive webmaps to sediment diversions and environmental modelling tools—shapes how regulators, non-profit conservationist groups, and the private sector design and evaluate ecological restoration and climate adaptation projects. He is currently looking at efforts to plan coastal restoration in Louisiana following decades of land loss. Contact.

Rebecca Summer is a PhD student in the Department of Geography. She is broadly interested in changes to the urban built environment and the implications for city dwellers. Her dissertation is about the history of alleys as public space in American cities and the role they play in urban development, social life, and neighborhood change. She has also researched the relationship between historic preservation and gentrification. Website. Contact.

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