Sarah Fayen Scarlett
- Associate Professor of History
- PhD, Art History, Building-Landscapes-Cultures Program, University of Wisconsin–Madison
- MA, American Material Culture, Winterthur Program, University of Delaware
- BA, American Studies, Yale University
I am a social historian who privileges architecture, landscapes, objects, and artworks in my research, public interpretation, and teaching strategies. My work relies on the idea that the built environment and the objects within it reflect and also shape human beliefs and attitudes. I locate myself at the intersection of three interdisciplinary subfields: vernacular architecture, material culture, and cultural landscape studies. I interface with scholars and methodologies from fields including history, archaeology, geography, American studies, architecture, and art history.
My recent book Company Suburbs: Architecture, Power, and The Transformation of Michigan's Mining Fronter (Univ of Tennessee Press 2021) was awarded the Abbott Lowell Cummings Award from the Vernacular Architecture Forum and the Fred B. Kniffen Award from the International Society for Landscape, Place, and Material Culture. It investigates space, materiality, and mobility in domestic landscapes to explore complex social identities in America between 1875 and 1920.
Another area of my research explores the roles of digital spatial tools in community-engaged heritage projects. I co-direct the NEH-sponsored historical GIS of the Copper Country called the Keweenaw Time Traveler, which asks "citizen historians" to contribute their own knowledge about landscape change over time and help process historical data.
Links of Interest
- Spatial, material, and experiential aspects of social power in industrial communities
- Historical GIS for Community-Engaged Scholarship
- American Vernacular Architecture and Material Culture Studies
- Public History, Historic Preservation, and Museums
- History of Design, Craft, and Production in the United States
- Cultural Landscapes and Historic Architecture of the Keweenaw
Sarah Fayen Scarlett, Company Suburbs: Architecture, Power, and the Transformation of Michigan’s Mining Frontier (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 2021).
- Mark Alan Rhodes II and Sarah Fayen Scarlett, “Post-Industrial Landscapes,” Routledge Companion to the American Landscape, edited by Chris W. Post, Alyson L. Greiner, and Geoffrey L. Buckley (London: Routledge): chapter 27.
- Sarah Fayen Scarlett and Laura Walikainen Rouleau, “Object Lesson: Architecture at Pullman National Monument as Both Agent of Division and Collective Identity,” Buildings & Landscapes 29 no. 2 (2022): 99-117.
- Don Lafreniere, Luke Weidner, Dan Trepal *, Sarah Fayen Scarlett, John D. M. Arnold*, Robert Pastel, and Ryan Williams, “Public Participatory Historical GIS.” Historical Methods: A Journal of Quantitative and Interdisciplinary History 52, no. 3 (2019): 132–149. DOI: 10.1080/01615440.2019.1567418
Sarah Fayen Scarlett, Don Lafreniere, Dan Trepal*, John Arnold*, Yichun Xie, “Out of the Classroom and Into History: Mobile Historical GIS and Community-Engaged Teaching,” The History Teacher 53, no. 1 (November 2019): 11–35. http://www.societyforhistoryeducation.org/pdfs/N19_Scarlett_et_al.pdf
Dan Trepal*, Sarah Fayen Scarlett, Don Lafreniere, “Heritage Making through Community Archaeology and the Spatial Humanities,” Journal of Community Archaeology and Heritage 6, no. 4 (August 2019): 238–256. DOI: 10.1080/2051896.2019.1653516
Laura Rouleau, Sarah Fayen Scarlett, Steven A. Walton, and Timothy Scarlett, “Historic Resource Study of Pullman National Monument, Illinois,” Midwest Regional Office of the National Park Service (2019).
Sarah Fayen Scarlett, Don Lafreniere, John D. M. Arnold*, Daniel J. Trepal*, Robert Pastel “Engaging Community and Spatial Humanities for Post-Industrial Heritage: The Keweenaw Time Traveler,” American Quarterly, Special Issue: Toward a Critically Engaged Digital Practice: American Studies and Digital Humanities 70, 3 (September 2018): 619–23. DOI: 10.1353/aq.2018.0043
- "Crossing the Milwaukee River: A Case Study in Mapping Mobility and Class Geographies,” in Landscapes of Mobility: Culture, Politics, and Placemaking, edited by Arijit Sen and Jennifer Johung (Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate, 2013).
“The Cultural Landscapes of Mining in Southwestern Wisconsin,” in From Mining to Farm Fields to Ethnic Communities: Buildings and Landscapes of Southwestern Wisconsin, edited by Anna Vemer Andrzejewski, Arnold R. Alanen, and Sarah Fayen Scarlett, 8–33 (Vernacular Architecture Forum Annual Conference 2012. Madison: Department of Art History and Department of Landscape Architecture, University of Wisconsin–Madison, 2012). Online at: https://uwmadison.app.box.com/s/4iwpf95kwx8rf0wtzywt
- “The Craft of Industrial Patternmaking,” The Journal of Modern Craft 4, 1 (March 2011): 27–48. DOI: 10.2752/174967811X12949160069018
“The Chinese Scholar Pattern: Style, Merchant Identity, and the English Imagination,” Ceramics in America 2011, edited by Robert Hunter (Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Chipstone Foundation, 2011), 1–45. Online at: http://www.chipstone.org/article.php/478/Ceramics-in-America-2011/The-Chinese-Scholar-Pattern:-Style,-Merchant-Identity,-and-the-English-Imagination
- “Tilt-Top Tables and Eighteenth-Century Consumerism,” American Furniture 2003, edited by Luke Beckerdite (Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Chipstone Foundation; Hanover, New Hampshire: University Press of New England, 2003), 95–137. Online at: http://www.chipstone.org/article.php/275/American-Furniture-2003/Tilt-Top-Tables-and-Eighteenth-Century-Consumerism
Council on Library and Information Resources, Digitizing Hidden and Special Collections and Archives, Michigan Miners at Home and Work: Digitizing, Mapping, and Sharing Employment Records (2020–2022). $240,014
- Advisory Commission of the Keweenaw National Historical Park, Digital Accessibility Upgrades for Archival Records in the Keweenaw Time Traveler (2020–21). Great Lakes Research Center. $12,000
National Endowment for the Humanities, Digital Humanities Advancement grant, Advancing Deep Mapping Infrastructure for Community-Driven Spatial Humanities: The Keweenaw Time Traveler (2020–2023). $324,985
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Partnership Grant, Trois Siècles de Migrations Franco-Phones en Amérique du Nord, (1640–1940) (2019–26). Yves Frenette, Université de St. Boniface, PI. Sarah Fayen Scarlett (Collaborator, one of 42 international researchers). $2,495,100 total project value. $6000
National Endowment for the Humanities, Humanities Collections and Reference Resources grant, Keweenaw Time Traveler (Copper Country Historical Spatial Data Infrastructure) (2016–19). $259,882
National Park Service, Midwest Archaeology Center, Cooperative Agreement for Work with Pullman National Monument (2016–19). $160,513
- NSF-ITEST, GIS Resources and Applications for Career Education (GRACE), pass through Eastern Michigan University (2016–18). $16,772
- Advisory Commission of the Keweenaw National Historical Park, Citizen Historian Kiosks (2016). $10,000
2022 “Laundry Rooms and Class Resistance inside ‘Company Suburbs,’” Society of Architectural Historians, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (March)
2019 “Building Alliances with or Despite the Buildings: Public History at Pullman, Illinois,” American Studies Association, Material Culture Caucus, Honolulu, Hawaii. Co-presented with Laura Rouleau (8 November).
2019 “Digital Spatial Technologies for Vernacular Architecture and Landscapes: The Keweenaw Time Traveler Project,” Vernacular Architecture Forum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Presenter, co-authored with Don Lafreniere, Robert Pastel, Dan Trepal* (1 June).
2019 “Post-Industrial Repair Work: Community-Engaged Historical GIS and the Politics of Place,” National Council for Public History, Hartford, Connecticut. Presenter, co-authored with Don Lafreniere, Michael Bleddynn*, Robert Pastel (28 March).
2019 “Conference Tour: Contested Loyalties in Pullman, Illinois,” American Historical Association, Chicago, Illinois. Co-presented with Laura Rouleau and Sue Bennett (NPS) (3 January).
2018 “Suburbs Without a City: When Mining Companies Developed Picturesque Neighborhoods,” Vernacular Architecture Forum, Alexandria, Virginia (5 May).
2018 “Post-Industrial Placemaking: The Keweenaw Time Traveler and Community-Engaged Historical GIS,” Society for Historical Archaeology, New Orleans, Louisiana. Presenter, co-authored with Don Lafreniere, John Arnold*, Dan Trepal* (5 January).
2017 “Material Culture Pedagogy Across the Curriculum,” Panelist, American Studies Association, Chicago, Illinois (11 November).
2017 “Historical GIS and Public History: Engaging Today’s Communities with Yesterday’s Changing Places,” Social Sciences History Association, Urban and Rural Environments in the Past Session, Montréal, Québec. Presenter, co-authored with Don Lafreniere, John Arnold*, and Dan Trepal*, (3 November).
2016 “Keweenaw Time Traveler: A Collaborative Online Map within a Post-Industrial Community,” poster session, Imagining America, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Presenter, co-authored with Don Lafreniere and John Arnold* (8 October).
2015 “Pathways of Resistance: Tracking Mobility and Alternative Identity Performance in Early Twentieth-Century Suburbs,” invited paper submission to panel entitled “Building Oppression: Misery and Resistance in the American Cultural Environment,” American Studies Association, Toronto, Ontario. (7 October).
2015 “How Does Change Happen? Cases in Technology and Design,” organized panel, D80 Conference for Global Sustainable Development, Michigan Technological University (24 October).
2015 “Taste and Mobility in the Processional Landscapes of Michigan’s Copper Country,” Vernacular Architecture Forum, Chicago, Illinois (8 June).
2013 “From Mine Company Office to Suburban Cottage: East Houghton and the James Pryor House,” American Anthropological Association, Chicago, Illinois (21 November 2013). Also presented at the Center for Culture, History, and Environment Graduate Symposium, University of Wisconsin—Madison (8 February 2014).
2011 “Upstairs / Downstairs in East Hancock: Overlapping Social Landscapes in a Northern Michigan Neighborhood,” Vernacular Architecture Forum, Falmouth, Jamaica (6 June 2011). Also delivered at FinnFestX Conference, Houghton, Michigan (12 April 2014).
2011 “Crossing the Milwaukee River: Interpreting Spatial Experience,” Society for Historical Archaeology, Austin, Texas (7 January).
2009 “Curator and Artist, Ceramics and Science, Cabinet and Museum: An Unconventional Installation by the Chipstone Foundation,” Sarah Fayen Scarlett and Martha Glowacki, “Ceramics on Show” conference, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, England (24 September).
Keweenaw Time Traveler
Trois Siècles de Migrations Francophones en Amérique du Nord (Three Centuries of Francophone Migration in North America) 1640–1940
SS5503 Material Culture Studies (with SS4553)
SS5800 Documentation of Historic Structures
SS4502 Undergraduate Historical Research
SS3515 History of American Architecture
SS3513 History of Making Things: Craft and Industry in the US
SS3240 Reading the Landscape: Archaeology, Geography, and History
SS2501 United States History: 1877 to the Present
SS2500 United States History: to 1877