Image Place Holder

Andrew C. Baker

PhD Candidate

Email: acb4 []


  • M.A. James Madison University, 2009
  • B.A. Grove City College, 2007

Fields of Study 

  • U.S. South
  • Environmental History
  • Agricultural and Rural History
  • Suburbanization

Research Interests

I am interested in the social, cultural, and environmental history of metropolitan expansion in the twentieth century, especially the metropolitan South.  My dissertation uses case studies in Northern Virginia and Houston, Texas to examine the intersection of suburban expansion, recreational development, and the transformation of rural communities on the metropolitan fringe.  Through chapters on reservoir development, the rise of hobby farms, the decline of rural political systems, the grass-roots movement for smart growth, and complex transformations of nature on both sides of the suburban frontier, this dissertation seeks to reframe the way historians understand the process of suburbanization, localized environmental politics, the meaning of rural landscapes, and the complex, reciprocal relationships between cities and their hinterlands.

Presentations and Publications 

  • "Race and Romantic Agrarianism: The Transnational Roots of Clarence Poe’s Crusade for Rural Segregation in North Carolina," Agricultural History (forthcoming January 2013).  Winner of the Everett E. Edwards Award for the best graduate student paper submitted to Agricultural History in 2011.
  • Agricultural History Society – June 2012 Annual Meeting – Presented “From Ranchland to Suburban Retreat: Rural Politics, Metropolitan Expansion, and the Building of Lake Conroe in Montgomery County, Texas 1958-1980” 
  •  Review of Boll Weevil Blues: Cotton, Myth, and Power in the American South, by James C. Giesen, Georgia Historical Quarterly (forthcoming) 
  •  Review of Conserving Southern Longleaf: Herbert Stoddard and the Rise of Ecological Land Management, by Albert G. Way, Georgia Historical Quarterly (forthcoming) 
  •  Southwestern Historical Association – 2010 Annual Meeting – Presented “A License to Estimate?: An Examination of the Limits of the Brazilian Data in the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database” 
  •  Virginia Social Science Association Annual Conference – March 28, 2009 – Presented Graduate Student Paper – “The Path to Pragmatic Progress: The Southern Planter and the Proposed Rehabilitation of Virginia Agriculture” – Won second place graduate student paper. 

Curriculum Vitae

  Current CV