John R. Stilgoe

As Our Young Generation Becomes More Flabby, the Beach Becomes a Less Desirable Place to Visit


John R. Stilgoe


Is an award-winning historian and photographer who is the Robert and Lois Orchard Professor in the History of Landscape at the Visual and Environmental Studies Department of Harvard University, where he has been teaching since 1977. He is also a fellow of the Society of American Historians. He was featured on a Sixty Minutes episode in 2004 entitled "The Eyes Have It"


Educational philosophy

On his Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences website, Stilgoe comments,

"Education ought to work outdoors, in the rain and the sleet, in the knife-like heat of a summertime Nebraska wheat field, along a half-abandoned railroad track on a dark autumn afternoon, on the North Atlantic in winter. All that I do is urge my students and my readers to look around, to realize how wonderfully rich is the built environment, even if the environment is only a lifeboat close-hauled in a chiaroscuro sea.[3]"



Francis Parkman Award
George Hilton Medal
Bradford Williams Medal
American Institute of Architects award for collaborative research
Charles C. Eldredge prize for art-history research



Old Fields: Photography, Glamour, and Fantasy Landscape (University of Virginia Press, 2014)
Train Time: Railroads and Imminent Landscape Change (University of Virginia Press, 2007)
Landscape and Images (University of Virginia Press, 2005)
Lifeboat: A History of Courage, Cravenness, and Survival at Sea (University of Virginia Press, 2003)
Outside Lies Magic (Walker & Company, 1998)
Alongshore (Yale University Press, 1994)
Shallow-Water Dictionary (Princeton Architectural Press, 2003)
Borderland: Origins of the American Suburb, 1820-1939 (Yale University Press, 1990)
Metropolitan Corridor: Railroads and the American Scene (Yale University Press, 1983)
Common Landscape of America, 1580 to 1845 (Yale University Press, 1983)

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