Amy KohoutHello, and welcome! I have a Ph.D. in history from Cornell University, and I have just joined the faculty of Colorado College as Assistant Professor of History. (Last year I had the pleasure of serving as Visiting Assistant Professor of Environmental Humanities in the Environmental Studies department at Davidson College.) I work on American cultural and environmental history, and my research interests include the American West, the history of natural history, American empire, museum studies, world’s fairs, and the history of technology. I am an editor and co-founder of Backlist, where historians recommend books they love, and before that I was an editor at The Appendix, a journal of narrative and experimental history.

While at Cornell, I served as the coordinator of Historians Are Writers!, a group committed to reading widely and thinking deeply about the writing we do in the scholarly realm and beyond. Before graduate school, I worked as the assistant director of a wilderness expedition foundation in New Mexico, and as an assistant programme officer for The World Conservation Union (IUCN) in Lao PDR. I have also worked as an environmental organizer and a trail cook, and I even spent two summers drawing routes on maps for AAA before the internet made that service obsolete.

It’s all connected, of course. Now I see lovely links between marking up road maps for travelers, planning and leading expeditions over rougher terrain, even crossing the Pacific myself to participate in contemporary environmental projects, and the work I’m focused on now: tracing the pathways and thought-processes of long-past soldiers, settlers, and scientists to understand a fascinating tangle of ideas about nature and empire at the turn of the twentieth century.