I am a geographer at Dartmouth College who is interested in the processes through which human and nonhuman systems cohere together into distinct geographic entities called “places.” Very broadly, this means that I’m curious about how we come to distinguish “here” from “there.” I’ve studied this question from several different perspectives, ranging from the history of urban and regional planning to big-data analyses of economically-integrated megaregions. Because the tension between unity and differentiation works itself out in terms of both ideological and empirical arguments about inclusion and exclusion, I’m interested in both how places come to be seen as provisionally whole, as well as what the consequences are of such boundary-drawing decisions. I strongly believe in the integrative impulse in geography and in the necessity of using techniques drawn from fields as diverse as spatial analysis, cartography, ethnography, social theory, and visual studies.
I was born in Massachusetts and have lived in Nashua, New Hampshire; Cambridge, Massachusetts; Tiranë, Albania; Nottingham, England; Madison, Wisconsin; and now Lebanon, New Hampshire. My wife, Lihlani Skipper, is the Assistant Director of the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems at Vermont Law School.
"Making the single city: The constitutive landscape and the struggle for Greater Boston, 1891–1911." Accepted, forthcoming in Landscape Research, special issue on “Landscape histories of urbanization," Mattias Qviström, ed.
Humanities Exchange (HEX). Center for the Humanities, University of Wisconsin–Madison, 2014–15. Joint award with Rebecca Summer. Public outreach grant for developing humanities projects in collaboration with community organizations.
Postgraduate Travel Bursary. Historical Geography Research Group, RGS–IBG, 2015.
Vilas Research Travel Grant. Graduate School, University of Wisconsin–Madison, 2014.
Research & Travel Grant. Center for Culture, History, and Environment, 2014 and 2013.
Trewartha Conference Travel Grant. Department of Geography, 2014 and 2013.
Trewartha Research Travel Grant. Department of Geography, 2014.
Clarence W. Olmstead Citizenship Award. Department of Geography, 2013.
Robert S. Birch Student Travel Award. Society for American City & Regional Planning History, 2011.
Vilas Welcome Award. Graduate School, University of Wisconsin–Madison, 2011.
Fulbright Postgraduate Scholar. US–UK Fulbright Commission, 2010–11. Funded MA program, with emphasis on scholarly cultural exchange.
Occasional Lecture Fund. British Fulbright Scholars Association, 2011.
George Peabody Gardner Traveling Fellowship. Harvard College, 2009–10. Grant awarded to one Harvard senior to pursue an independent project in an understudied country. Funded nine months of research in Albania on the changes in planning and spatial organization from communism to capitalism.
Phi Beta Kappa. Harvard Colleg, Alpha and Iota of Massachusetts, 2008 .
Harvard College Research Program. Summer research grant, 2008.