Martin-Hardin, Amanda

Field: United States; Advisor: Guridy and Jacoby; Year: 2018

Amanda Martin-Hardin (she/her) is a doctoral candidate studying U.S. environmental history. Her dissertation, tentatively titled “The Nature of Civil Rights: Jim Crow Battles Over the Outdoors,” analyzes the impact of racism on access to outdoor recreation spaces from the late nineteenth through the mid-twentieth century. She researches how white public authorities segregated green spaces, as well as how people of color resisted their exclusion from the outdoors. Her dissertation will be the first environmental history that chronicles urban parks in tandem with remote outdoor locations to show how the visual culture of landscapes corresponded with the development of racist categories in Jim Crow America. She has published work in Environmental History, Environmental History Now, and Zócalo Public Square. She is also the creator of Everyday Environmentalism, a podcast that chronicles the past and present of urban nature in New York City.


Nature in Black and White: Summer Camps and Racialized Landscapes in the Photography of Gordon Parks,” Environmental History 23, Issue 3 (July 2018): 594-605.


Prior to studying at Columbia, Amanda received a B.A. in American studies (with a minor in photojournalism) from the University of Texas in Austin, and an M.A. in history from Montana State University. After completing her undergraduate degree, she worked for several years as a professional photographer before re-entering the academic world. Her previous photographic work continues to inform her research interests and commitment to multimedia projects.


Amanda also practices public history. She developed and taught a course at the Museum of the City of New York; led historical walking tours in Bozeman, Montana; and co-curated archival exhibits at Montana State University and Columbia.

Amanda is passionate about teaching history and has taught undergraduate courses since 2015. In 2017, she was awarded the College of Letters and Sciences Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant at Montana State University.

Additional professional experiences include:

Curatorial Assistant for the Rare Books & Manuscripts Library, 2019-present

Dumbarton Oaks Mellon Summer Fellow, 2022
New York Metro Seminar in Environmental History Co-Organizer, 2019-2021
SOF/Heyman Public Humanities Graduate Student Fellow, 2020-21
Co-President of the Graduate History Association, 2019-20
Teaching Observation Fellow for the Center for Teaching and Learning, 2019-20