AuthorPrins, Megan K.
AdvisorMorrissey, Katherine G.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractAn environmental and cultural history of cities between 1870 and 1930s, "Winters in America" explores the changing material and cultural relationship that Americans formed with winter in the urban spaces of the country. During this period of immense demographic, social, and technological change most Americans encountered winter nature in the industrial city, and subsequently formed their environmental experiences and knowledge of the season through city life. Using case studies of five cities - Boston, Chicago, St. Paul, Tucson and Phoenix - this study shows how winter labor, leisure, and culture in the Gilded Age city not only informed built environments but was also marshaled by Americans to interpret the appearance of the season, resulting in an emerging urban environmental and seasonal culture. Indeed, the growth of cities in combination with social and technological changes played a significant role in reorienting how many residents experienced and understood winter in their lives. Access to and control over winter narratives were not inclusive, however, and the evolving culture of winter typically favored particular classes of citizens. Winter celebrations, employment aid, work, and winter health resorts, for example, shifted the experiences and social values injected into the season. Ultimately, an examination of winter in the city during this period demonstrates the continued environmental power of season in the lives of urban Americans, while exposing the cultural power many Americans ascribed to the coldest season.
Degree ProgramGraduate College