Thursday, March 13, 2008


EDITORIAL CONTACT: Lisa L. Rollins, 615-898-2919

Researcher-Author Colten Examines New Orleans’ Geography in March 19 Talk

(MURFREESBORO)—Dr. Craig E. Colton, an author and the Carl O. Sauer Professor of Geography at Louisiana State University, will deliver the 2008 Strickland Visiting Scholar Lecture in History at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 19, in the State Farm Lecture Hall of the Business Aerospace Building on the MTSU campus.
The topic of Colten’s free and open talk will be “Extreme New Orleans: Growing Beyond the City’s Limits.”
Before returning to academe in 1996, Colten worked with state government in Illinois and as a private consultant in Washington, D.C. His most recent book is titled “An Unnatural Metropolis: Wresting New Orleans from Nature” (2006), which offers an in-depth look at a city and society uniquely shaped by the natural forces it has sought to harness. In the 272-page book, Colten demonstrates that New Orleans may be the city most dependent on human-induced transformations of its precarious site and traces the engineered modifications to its natural environment from 1800 to 2000.
In addition to “An Unnatural Metropolis,” Colten has authored
the books “The American Environment,” “The Road to Love Canal,” “Transforming New Orleans and Its Environs” and “Louisiana Geography.”
Colten, who earned his Ph.D. from Syracuse University in 1984, lists environmental historical geography, urban environments, and Louisiana and the South as his primary research interest areas. In 2007, he served as editor of Geographical Review and was the recipient of the 2006 Media Achievement Award from the Association of American Geographers. Additionally, he was presented with the 2005 J. B. Jackson Prize from the Association of American Geographers and is a past member of the editorial board of Environmental History, among other honors and activities.
The purpose of the Strickland Visiting Scholar program is to allow students to meet with accomplished scholars whose expertise spans a variety of historical issues. It was established through the support of the Strickland family in memory of Dr. Roscoe Lee Strickland Jr., a longtime professor of European history at MTSU. Strickland was the first president of the MTSU Faculty Senate.
Aside from his free public Strickland Visiting Scholar Lecture in History at MTSU, Colten also will meet for formal and informal classes and workshops with undergraduates, graduates and faculty.
For more information regarding Colten’s March 19 talk, please contact Dr. Kenneth Scherzer, history professor and chairman of the Strickland lecture’s coordinating committee, at 615-898-2003 or via e-mail at


ATTENTION, MEDIA: To request an interview with Drs. Scherzer or Colten, please direct your inquiry to Lisa L. Rollins in the Office of News and Public Affairs at

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