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In 'Trace' The American Landscape Holds Personal Histories

photo of Lauret Savoy
Kris Bergbom

Many Americans learn their history through teachers, textbooks and films. Personal histories, however, often come from stories told amongst families. But what if pieces of a personal history are still missing from those stories? And who decides which stories to pass on and which to bury?

For writer and environmental scientist Lauret Savoy, the American landscape itself holds the key to her personal narrative. Savoy is a woman of mixed heritage and a professor of environmental studies and geology at Mount Holyoke College whose work explores the intersection of natural and cultural histories. Savoy is a participant in the Anthropocene Project at Duke University, a multidisciplinary undertaking which calls for a shift in academic thinking in the Anthropocene epoch. 

photo of book cover of 'Trace'
'Trace' explores connections between cultural heritage and landscape.

Host Frank Stasio speaks with Savoy about carving out her own history and about her book "Trace: Memory, History, Race, and The American Landscape" (Counterpoint Press/ 2015). 


Laura Pellicer is a digital reporter with WUNC’s small but intrepid digital news team.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
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