I served as co-chair of the 2017 Society for American City and Regional Planning History (SACRPH) program committee with David Freund from University of Maryland. This was an incredible opportunity to help shape the conversation around planning history in the United States. One goal that David and I set for ourselves was to make sure the “conversations we have in the hallways” somehow make it out into the wider world. I know the folks at the Tropics of Meta and I thought they would be a great partner. I first met Alex Cummings at Urban History Association meeting and found out about Tropics of Meta as a project that he developed along with several other scholars with the intention of bringing the scholarly discussions to the masses. As they describe on the site, “Tropics of Meta aims to offer a fresh perspective on history, current events, popular culture, and issues in the academic world. Founded in 2010, ToM has published over 700 essays by historians, social scientists, artists, filmmakers, and creative writers both within and outside the academy, giving voice to communities across the United States and the world.”
We recorded several conversations at the SACRPH meeting. The dirty secret of DH work is finding the funding to support every project. Most of us are using our “off” time to get this done. My thanks to the Tropic of Meta crew for getting these conversation to the world.