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History Break: Roadside Geopoetics: Public geology and environmental history along the highway

December 14 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

In 1949, the Geological Society of Minnesota built the first of more than sixty roadside monuments, interpreting geological processes at sites of interest across Minnesota. In cooperation with state and local transportation entities, the monuments are built as wayside stops. Drawing on archival research, Ursula will present early findings about the inception of the Geological Society of MN, early activities of the GSM, and in particular the motivations for developing roadside markers at sites of geological interest. In addition, she will share work in progress developed as a Resident at the Anderson Center, focused on these markers and other sites of “public geology” in and around the Red Wing area.

About the Speaker 

Ursula Lang is an interdisciplinary researcher and writer, with a PhD in Geography from UMN, and a background in Architecture and Biology. She studies the social and environmental histories of place, in relation to the contested politics of land, property and the commons. Who has access to natural resources, and how do we share and sustain these over time? The answers to these questions are shaped by social differences (such as race, gender and class), in conjunction with the built environments within which we are set. Through diverse methods including ethnography and participatory mapping, her work aims to contribute to more just, equitable, inclusive and caring places. Ursula’s research has been published in a range of scholarly journals, in addition to her first book, Living with Yards: Nature and the Habits of Home (2022). Her creative practice includes printmaking and mapping. Current projects explore geological time across Minnesota landscapes, and how these are interpreted through public monuments, books, and experiences in place


December 14
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


Goodhue County History Center
1166 Oak Street
Red Wing, MN 55066 United States
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