For immediate release
Further information: contact Joseph Giomboni
Public Relations office, (570) 208-5957

August 6, 2018 – Dr. Allen Dieterich-Ward, associate professor of history at Shippensburg University, will examine the labor landscape of Pennsylvania’s workforce during the 2018 Labor Day Lecture at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 5, in the Burke Auditorium at King’s College. Titled “Pennsylvania’s Working Landscapes: Rust, Revival, and the Future of Labor in Penn’s Woods,” the lecture is free and open to the public. The program is sponsored by the McGowan Center for Ethics and Social Responsibility at King’s.

Dieterich-Ward’s talk will explore the history of the state’s working landscapes, paying particular attention to Northeast Pennsylvania, through the crisis of deindustrialization and with potential lessons for the future drawn from the ongoing process of urban revitalization.  

From the seventeenth through the early twentieth centuries, Pennsylvanians’ identities were forged at the intersection of nature and culture as they sought to transform the earth’s bounty into marketable goods. Today, Pennsylvania’s working landscapes have become key ideological battlegrounds in the political fight over the state’s future. While progressives dream of a blue-green alliance, conservative anti-environmentalists link job losses to environmental protection. 

In his lecture, Dieterich-Ward will argue that this divide has manifested in a bifurcation between urban areas where brownfields are reimagined as sites of high-tech production and preservation of natural “amenities” is seen as key to recruiting and retaining the so-called creative class, and rural areas where farmers, manufacturers, and energy workers are leery of regulations that may have only limited environmental benefits on the local level. 

Dieterich-Ward’s research focuses on the role of politics, economics, and the natural environment in the shaping of metropolitan development with a particular emphasis on twentieth century Pittsburgh. He is the author of Beyond Rust: Metropolitan Pittsburgh and the Fate of Industrial America, winner of the 2016 Arline Custer Memorial Award for best book in Mid-Atlantic History. He is currently working on a college-oriented survey of Pennsylvania's environmental history for the Pennsylvania History Series published by the Pennsylvania Historical Association and Temple University Press.  

Dieterich-Ward joined the faculty at Shippensburg in 2006. He was awarded a Teaching Innovation in Pedagogical Spotlight Award in 2013 and Shippensburg University Provost’s Award for Extraordinary Service in 2010-11. He was also awarded the Urban History Association Prize for Best Scholarly Article Published in 2009. 

He earned his master’s degree and doctorate in history from the University of Michigan and a bachelor’s degree at the College of Wooster. 

The Burke Auditorium is located in the William G. McGowan School of Business on North River Street. Parking will be available in on-campus lots. For more information, please contact Dr. Bernard Prusak, director, McGowan Center for Ethics and Social Responsibility, at (570) 208-5900, ext. 5689.

Dr. Allen Dieterich-Ward of Shippensburg University will deliver the annual Labor Day Lecture at 7 p.m. on Sept. 5 at King’s College.