writing & research

In my research and writing, I explore environmental, cultural and North American Western history.

I'm currently working on two books. The working title for the first is Pacific World Passages: Trafficking Nature & Culture across the Waterways of the Pacific Ocean. This book will examine nature, transpacific cultural and economic exchange, and the making of a Pacific World in the 19th century, focusing on the trade in otters, whales, and trees. The traffic in each both destroyed and created new spatial, cultural, and environmental formations. The second is a sweeping but also specifically located, multiperspectival and multifaceted history of the western half of North America and its national and global connections, provisionally entitled The Wests: Peoples, Places and Stories. 

Below is a list of my publications (more information about the books can be found through the "read more" links to the right).


Wild Men: Ishi and Kroeber in the Wilderness of Modern America, Oxford University Press, 2010.

In the New Narratives in American History series.

 A Companion to American Environmental History, Wiley-Blackwell, 2010.

A state-of-the field, edited volume on environmental history, with 32 chapters, in the Blackwell Companions to American History series.

Orange Empire: California and the Fruits of Eden, University of California Press, 2005. Paperback edition, 2007.

Winner of the Martin Ridge Award (for the best book in post-1848 California history), Historical Society of Southern California, 2006.

articles, book chapters & review essays

“Food.” Book chapter in Sackman, ed., A Companion to American Environmental History (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010): 529-550.

“Gender.” Book chapter co-authored with Susan R. Schrepfer, in Sackman, ed., A Companion to American Environmental History (Wiley-Blackwell,  2010): 116-145.

Contributor, “Teaching the American History Survey at the Opening of the Twenty-First Century: A Roundtable Discussion.” In Gary Kornblith and Carol Lasser, eds. Teaching American History (Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2009). A revised republication of the roundtable discussion that originally appeared in the Journal of American History (March 2001): 1409-1441. [As featured on Fox and Friends!]

“Nature and Conquest: After the Deluge of ’49.” Book chapter in William Deverell and David Igler, eds., A Companion to California History (Wiley-Blackwell, 2008): 175-191.

“The Gender Trouble with Wilderness.” Review essay of Susan R. Schrepfer, Nature’s Altars: Mountains, Gender, and American Environmentalism, in Reviews in American History (June 2006): 208-213.

“A Garden of Worldly Delights.” Book chapter in Land of Sunshine: The Environmental History of Greater Los Angeles, Greg Hise and William Deverell, eds. (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2005): 245-266, 329-334.

“Consumption and the Angel of History,” Environmental History (January 2005): 90-92. Included in the 10 year anniversary issue forum on “What’s Next for Environmental History?”

 “Putting Gender on the Table: Food and the Family Life of Nature.” Book chapter in Seeing Nature through Gender, Virginia Scharff, ed. (University Press of Kansas, 2003): 169-193.

 “Charles Alexander Eastman” (and the section on teaching Eastman), in Heath Anthology of American Literature, 4th Ed. (Houghton Mifflin, 2002).

 “Review Essay: William de Buys, Salt Dreams: Land and Life in Low-Down California,” New Mexico Historical Review (April 2001): 189-193.

 Foreword and Bibliographical Essay, Carey McWilliams, Factories in the Field: The Story of Migratory Farm Labor in California (1939; reissue by the University of California Press, 2000): ix-xviii, 335-342.

 “‘Nature’s Workshop’: The Work Environment and Workers’ Bodies in California’s Citrus Industry,”  Environmental History (January 2000): 27-53.

 “Inside the Skin of Nature: The Scientific Quest for the Golden Orange,” Science, Values and the American West, Stephen Tchudi, ed. (University of Nevada Press, 1997): 117-145.

 “Allegories of Life: Gender, Labor and Bio-Technology in the Murals of Diego Rivera,” Human Ecology Review (Autumn 1996): 115-126.

 “‘By Their Fruits Ye Shall Know Them’: ‘Nature Cross Culture Hybridization’ and the California Citrus Industry, 1893-1939,” California History (Spring 1995): 82-99, 139-140.