Social Sciences

Industrial Heritage and Archaeology Research

Through industrialization, humans transformed the world, introducing social and environmental changes of unprecedented scope, scale, and speed that continue to impact us today. Industrial archaeologists study the history and heritage of industry, including its roots, evolution, and the patchy decline of postindustrial places. At Michigan Tech, Industrial Archeology—MS and Industrial Heritage—PhD (IEE) degree students use interdisciplinary studies of the material remains and social memories of industrial workplaces, landscapes, and communities. Our research focuses on the social, political, and ecological construction of technological systems. We also examine the patrimony of industrial societies, considering how communities cope with the onset, effort, and consequences of industrial wealth production.

Researchers

Carl Blair

  • Senior Lecturer in History and Archaeology

Research Interests

  • Experimental Archaeology
  • Early Large scale iron production
  • Roman and Anglo-Saxon England
  • Rise of socially complex societies
  • International program development

Don Lafreniere

  • Associate Professor of Geography and GIS
  • Director, Historical Environments Spatial Analytics Lab
  • Director, Geospatial Research Facility

Research Interests

  • Environmental Change and Life Course Epidemiology
  • Urban Environments and Population Health
  • PPGIS
  • Applications of GIS for Historical Research
  • Qualitative GIS
  • Deindustrialization and Shrinking Cities
  • Time-Space Integration and Modeling in GIS
  • Demography and Historical Record Linkage
  • Sense of Place and Neighborhood Construction

Nancy Langston

  • Professor of Environmental History, Social Sciences
  • Member of the Great Lakes Research Center
  • Affiliated Professor, SFRES

Areas of Interest

  • Toxics, forested watersheds, and northern lakes
  • Environmental history
  • Watershed change and water quality
  • Mining history

Carol A. MacLennan

  • Professor of Anthropology, Social Sciences

Research Interests

  • Environmental anthropology/political ecology
  • Anthropology of industry (mining, sugar)
  • Hawai`i and the Pacific
  • Anthropology of public policy

Patrick E. Martin

  • Research Professor of Archaeology

Areas of Expertise

  • Industrial archaeology
  • Industrial heritage
  • Historical archaeology

Fredric L. Quivik

  • Professor of History (retired)

Areas of Expertise

  • History of Technology
  • Environmental History
  • Architectural History
  • Industrial Archeology
  • History of the Organization of Industrial Enterprises

Jonathan E. Robins

  • Associate Professor of History

Links of Interest

Areas of Expertise

  • History of Globalization
  • Economic History
  • History of Imperialism and Colonialism
  • International Business Organization
  • Commodity Studies
  • History of Food
Timothy Scarlett
"Whereas innovation, in the backwards reading of creativity, lies outside of time, improvisation, in a forward reading, is inherently temporal."
—Elizabeth Hallam and Tim Ingold (2007) Creativity and Cultural Improvisation. Berg, New York.

Timothy J. Scarlett

  • Associate Professor of Archaeology and Anthropology

Research Interests

  • Historical and Industrial Archaeologies
  • Ecobiography, Creativity and Work
  • Ceramic Petrology, Neutron Activation Analysis
  • Community-based scholarship, public science/humanities
  • Archaeometric and Conservation Sciences

Chelsea Schelly

  • Associate Professor of Sociology
  • Graduate Director, IA/H and EEP

Research Interests

  • Alternative technology adoption
  • Renewable energy technologies
  • Renewable and alternative technology policy
  • Sustainable communities
  • Energy conservation and consumption practices
  • Self-provisioning
  • Environmental education
Sam Sweitz
"All this information, this material, must be taken up and reconsidered in the light of man himself, and one must try if possible, to rediscover, beyond all the details, life itself... Everything must be recaptured and relocated in the general framework of history, so that...we may respect the unity of history which is also the unity of life."
—Fernand Braudel, On History, 1980.

Sam R. Sweitz

  • Associate Professor of Anthropology & Archaeology

Research Interests

  • Historical and Industrial Archaeology
  • Social, Economic, and Political Dimensions of Haciendas, Plantations, and Industrial Communities in the American West, Latin America, and the Caribbean
  • Issues Related to Colonialism, World-Systems Analysis, post-Colonialism, and Globalization
  • Relevance of Archaeology and Heritage to Identity Formation and Contemporary Social Systems
Steven Walton
"I find it astonishing that any man can regard fine machinery without admiration."
—John William Stone (in Stones Fall, by Iain Pears)

Steven A. Walton

  • Associate Professor of History

Areas of Expertise

  • history of technology
  • history of science
  • artillery, fortification, ordnance
  • history of engineering
  • military history
  • Early Modern European history

LouAnn Wurst

  • Professor of Archaeology

Research Interests

  • Historical and Industrial Archaeology
  • Archaeology of Capitalism
  • Class and Inequality
  • Marxist Theory
  • Historic Preservation and Cultural Resource Management