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Dale Potts

Dale Potts


Associate Professor of History

Office Building

West Hall



Mailing Address

West Hall 116
School of American & Global Studies-Box-0510
University Station
Brookings, SD 57007


M.A. in Humanities, 1997,
The Pennsylvania State University

Ph.D. in History, May 2007,
University of Maine at Orono

Academic Interests/Expertise

American Environmental History; American Indian History; American Popular Culture

Environmental History
Social & Cultural History of the U.S.

Academic Responsibilities

United States History I & II; World Civilizations I & II; Environmental History of the U.S.; Historical Methods and Historiography; History and Culture of the American Indian; Social and Cultural History of the U.S.; U.S. History Since 1941

Committee Activities

Teacher Education Faculty Committee

Awards and Honors

James Phinney Baxter Award, best journal article in Maine History for the previous year. Awarded May, 2019 for "'There are Folks Comin' after Us that will Need Trees,': Progressive Era Conservation, the Woods Tradition, and Maine Writer Holman Francis Day." Maine History 52:no. 1(winter 2017): 17-46.

Kentucky Historical Society Scholarly Research Fellowship, Kentucky Historical Society Foundation, awarded 2016. Research on writer Jesse Stuart and the maintenance of the twentieth-century rural landscape of Kentucky.

Science, Technology & Society Research Scholar, Colby College, Waterville, Maine, 2009-2010.

Outstanding Graduate Student: Liberal Arts & Sciences, University of Maine, 2007

New England Historical Association Conference, Best Graduate Student Paper 2006

Canadian-American Center, Maine Atlas Project Research Assistant, 2005-2006

University of Maine Graduate School Research Fellowship, 2004-2005

John J. Nolde Lectureship, U. S. History II, University of Maine, spring 2005

Maine Economic Improvement Fund Summer Research Grant, 2004

National Folk Festival/Maine Folklife Center Summer Internship, 2004

New England-Atlantic Provinces-Quebec Fellowship, 2003-2004, Canadian-American Center

Teaching Assistant, 2000-2003 Department of History, University of Maine

Professional Memberships

(AHS) Agricultural History Society
(ASAIL) Association for the Study of American Indian Literatures
(ASEH) American Society for Environmental History
(ASLE) Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment
(SHARP) Society for the History of Authorship, Reading & Publishing

Creative Activities

Conference Papers, Invited Lectures:

Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing Conference, Amherst, Massachusetts, July 2019. “Pulp Fiction Markets, Editorial Selection and the Presentation of Native Americans, 1900-1930.”

Thoreau Society Annual Gathering, Concord, Massachusetts, July 2019. Invitation to participate in a panel on the impact of Henry David Thoreau’s book, Maine Woods (1864). I presented a discussion on my chapter contribution to the 2019 anthology Rediscovering the Maine Woods.

Staging the Space Between Society Conference, South Dakota State University, May 30th/June 1st 2019. “Maliseet Writer Henry Perley and a Native American Perspective on the Twentieth-Century North Woods.”

International Conference on Global Human Rights, South Dakota State University, Brookings, South Dakota, October, 2018. “Climate Change, Environmental Justice, and the Legacies of Colonialism in the South Pacific.”

Association for the Study of Literature and Environment, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, June, 2017. “He Would Not Ask for More”: Tradition and Environment in Maliseet Writer Henry Perley’s Pulp-Fiction of the Maine North Woods.

Agricultural History Society, Edith Macy Center, New York, New York, June, 2016. “’To keep all their topsoil from washing away:’ Writer Jesse Stuart and the Maintenance of the Twentieth-Century Rural Landscape of Kentucky.”

Association for the Study of Literature and Environment, University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho, June, 2015. “’The Wood Box in the Cabin:’ Reconciling Forest Aesthetics with Promoting the Outdoor Life in the Writings of Calvin Rutstrum, 1940-1980.”

American Literature Association Conference, Thoreau Society Panel on the Legacy of Thoreau’s The Maine Woods, Westin Copley Place, Boston, Massachusetts, May, 2015. “Popular Literature and Conservation in the Maine Woods.”

Agricultural History Society Conference, Provo, Utah, June 2014. “Land, Weather, and Endurance: Hal Borland, Genteel Farming and the Conservation of Nature and Culture, 1920-1970.”

Northeast and Atlantic Canada Environmental History Conference, University of Maine, Orono, Maine, September 28th, 2013. “’A Greenness Already Determined’: Writer/Naturalist Hal Borland, Popular Environmental Literature, and Nature as More than the Backdrop to History, 1946-1978.”

Northeast and Atlantic Canada Environmental History Conference, Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston, Massachusetts, October 27th, 2012. “The Recreational Culture of the North Woods: Unconventional Sources and the Reliability of Evidence.”

Agricultural History Society Conference, Springfield, Illinois, June 2011. “Between Forest and Field: American Regional Debates on the Connectivity between Agriculture and Wild Nature, 1940-1960.”

Rural Heritage Institute, Sterling College, Vermont, June 2010. “Local Sustainability & Worldwide Movements: Regional Histories, Cross-Regional Debates.”

Popular Culture/American Culture Association, St. Louis, Missouri, April 2010. “New York to California: New England Airships, Itinerant Inventors, and Antebellum American Advertising.”

Colby College, Science Technology & Society Research Scholar Presentation, April 29th, 2010. “R. Porter & Co.: Aerial Transports, the Useful Arts, and the Best Route to California, 1849.”

New England Historical Association, Portland, Maine, April 2009. “Community within Nature: Northern Agrarianism, Environmental Preservation, and the Farm Literature of New England, 1930-1950.”

Northeast Popular Culture/American Culture Association Conference, October 2008. “Defining Roles: Cultural Sensitivity and Native American Representations in Hollywood Films, 1980-2007.”

Rural Heritage Institute, Sterling College, Craftsbury Common, Vermont, June 2008. “Northern Agrarianism: Working Pasts and Leisured Presents in the Chimney Farm Non-fiction of Henry Beston and Elizabeth Coatsworth, 1944-48.”

Popular Culture/American Culture Association, San Francisco, California, April 2008. “North Woods Melodrama: The Growth of the Lumber Hero in American Pulp Fiction and Film, 1910-1930.”

New England Historical Association, Worcester, Massachusetts, October 2007. “The Old Squire’s Farm: C.A. Stephens, Popular Literature, and New England’s Agricultural Decline, 1890-1930.”

Popular Culture/American Culture Association, Boston, Massachusetts, April 2007. “Finding that Cabin in the Woods: The Popular Literature of the Northeastern Forest, 1930-1960.”

New England Historical Association, Dartmouth, Massachusetts, October 2006. “Woods Enough Still: Transforming Henry David Thoreau’s Recreational Landscape in Popular Tourist Literature of Maine, 1860-1900.”

Popular Culture/American Culture Association, Atlanta, Georgia, April 2006. “Guiding the Populace: Conservation, Local Culture, and Traditional Practices in the Recreation Writings of Henry Red Eagle.”

American Society for Environmental History, St. Paul, Minnesota, April 2006. “Authority in the Forest: Recreation and Resource Use in the Popular Literature of the Maine North Woods, 1910-1941.”

Agricultural History Society, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, June 2006. “No Time to Search the Woods: Traditional Farm Knowledge and the Wild Lands of Maine in the Depression-era Fiction of Gladys Hasty Carroll.”

Agricultural History Society Symposium, Cornell University, September 2004. “When Field and Forest Meet: Valuation of the Small Farm Woodlot in the Popular Literature of Maine, 1930-1959.”

Journal Articles:

“’To keep all their topsoil from washing away’: Writer Jesse Stuart and the Maintenance of the Twentieth-Century Rural Landscape of Kentucky,” The Register of the Kentucky Historical Society 116:nos. 3&4(summer/autumn 2018): 335-375.

“'There are Folks Comin' After Us That Will Need Trees:' Progressive Era Conservation, the Woods Tradition, and Maine Writer Holman Francis Day." Maine History 52:1(winter 2017-2018): 17-46.

“’Only the Government Can Do It:’ Assessing the Role of the United States Forest Service Under the United States Department of Agriculture, 1881-1990.” Agricultural History 87:3(summer 2013): 323-332.

“Indian Storyteller in the Mainstream: Henry Perley of Maine and the Pulp-Fiction Market, 1910-1930.” Studies in American Indian Literatures, “Indigenous New England” Special Issue 24:3(fall 2012): 53-70.

“Community within Nature: Culture and Environment in the Works of Henry Beston and Elizabeth Coatsworth, 1944-1948.” Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment 19:2(fall 2011): 820-839.

“Henry Red Eagle, Popular Literature, and the Reassertion of a Native American Connection to the Maine North Woods, 1910-1960.” Maine History - Reconstructing Maine’s Wabanaki History 43:2(August 2007): 187-217.

Anthology Chapters:

“Multiple Use and Its Discontents: Popular Conservation Writing in the Maine Woods a Century after Thoreau.” In Rediscovering the Maine Woods, edited by John Kusich, 169-192. Amherst: The University of Massachusetts Press, 2019.

“Henry Red Eagle and the Native American Presence in the New England Woods.” In A Landscape History of New England, edited by Richard W. Judd and Blake Harrison, 91-107. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press, 2011.

Book Reviews:

Book Review of Robert M. Thorson’s The Boatman: Henry David Thoreau’s River Years. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2017. Published in Environmental History 24:1(January 2019), 223-225.

Book review of Arthur Buntin’s Moccasin and Foote Creeks: A Brown County Saga of Challenge and Response, 1880s-2013. Aberdeen: Aberdeen/Brown County Landmarks Commission, 2014. Published in Great Plains Quarterly 38:1(winter 2018), 116-117.

Book Review of Christopher Isett and Stephen Miller’s The Social History of Agriculture: From the Origins to the Current Crisis. New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2017. Published in Agricultural History 92:4(Fall 2018), 617-619.

Book Review of Daniel G. Payne’s Orion on the Dunes: A Biography of Henry Beston. Jaffrey, New Hampshire: David R. Godine, 2016. Published in Maine History, 52:2(Summer 2018), 236-238.

Book Review of Matthew N. Johnston's Narrating the Landscape: Print Culture and American Expansion in the Nineteenth Century. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2016. Published in South Dakota History 48:2(Summer 2018), 166-167.

Book review of John F. Bauman’s Gateway to Vacationland: The Making of Portland, Maine. Amherst: University of Massachusetts, 2012, for Maine History (2015).

Book review of Pamela Riney-Kehrberg’s The Nature of Childhood: An Environmental History of Growing up in America Since 1865. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2014, for the Register of the Kentucky Historical Society (2015).

Book review of Aaron Shapiro’s The Lure of the North Woods: Cultivating Tourism in the Upper Midwest. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota press, 2013, for The Michigan Historical Review, (spring, 2014).

Book review of William David Barry and Patricia McGraw Anderson’s Deering: A Social and Architectural History. Portland: Greater Portland Landmarks, 2010, for Maine History (2014).

Book review of Foster, Charles H.W., Ed. Twentieth-Century New England Land Conservation: A Heritage of Civic Engagement. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2009, for Maine History (January, 2013).

Book review of Corey Lee Lewis, Reading the Trail: Exploring the Literature and Natural History of the California Crest, Reno: University of Nevada Press, 2005, for H-Environment, (2008).

Book review of Robert T. Self, Robert Altman’s McCabe and Mrs. Miller: Reframing the American West. Lawrence: University of Kansas Press, 2007, for The Journal of Popular Culture, (December, 2008).

Book review of Melanie L. Simo, Literature of Place: Dwelling on the Land before Earth Day 1970. Charlottesville: University of Virginia, 2005, for the New England Historical Association Newsletter, (spring, 2007).

Book review of Rebecca Kneale Gould, At Home in Nature: Modern Homesteading and Spiritual Practice in America. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005, for H-Environment, (2006).


“Popular Literature and Conservation in the Maine Woods,” Abstract, The Thoreau Society Bulletin 290(summer, 2015): 10.

Other Research:

Hornsby, Stephen J., Richard W. Judd & Dale E. Potts, “Hunting and Fishing in the Maine Woods” and “Vacationland” plates for The Historical Atlas of Maine (Orono: University of Maine Press, 2015): Plates 60 and 72.

Area(s) of Research

Current Research Topics: Nature Writers & the Modern Environmental Movement