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Erika Bsumek

Prof. Dr. Erika Bsumek

Carson Fellow (from May 2015 until July 2015)

Erika Bsumek is Associate Professor of History at the University of Texas at Austin specializing in environmental history, Native American history, the history of consumption and production, and the history of anthropology. Her current research explores the social, cultural, and environmental implications of large-scale engineering and infrastructure projects in the American West. She recently co-edited The Nation State and Global Environment: New Approaches to International Environmental History, a collection of essays that integrate the fields of diplomatic and environmental history that shed light on contemporary environmental issues. As an educator, she is especially interested in teaching humanities students how the technology surrounding them has shaped the environment—and teaching STEM majors how history and politics shape technologies and environments.

RCC Research Project: The Concrete West: Engineering Society and Culture in the Arid West, 1900–1970


Selected Publications:

  • Indian-made: Navajo Culture in the Marketplace, 1868-1940. 2 vols. 2008. Reprint, Lawrence: University of Kansas Press, 2012.
  • The Nation State and Global Environment: New Approaches to International Environmental History. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013. (Co-edited with Mark Lawrence and David Kinkela) 
  • "Reading the Rock Art on the Wall, A New Era of Inquiry: The Life and Work of Polly Schaafsma." Special Issue, New Mexico Historical Review 90, no. 2 (Spring 2015). (Editor)
  • "Polly Schaafsma’s Indelible Mark." In "Reading the Rock Art on the Wall, A New Era of Inquiry: The Life and Work of Polly Schaafsma." Special Issue, New Mexico Historical Review 90, no. 2 (Spring 2015).
  • "Out of the Shadows: Norman Rockwell, Navajos and American Politics." Environmental History 18, no. 2 (2013): 423–30.
  • “Imagining Indians and Revisiting Reclamation Debates.” In: “Eco-Images: Historical Views and Political Strategies,” edited by Gisela Parak, RCC Perspectives 2013, no. 1, 27–41.