Introducing Bibliographer Travis Olson

12 Oct 2018 2:15 AM | Christine R Henry (Administrator)

I feel as though I’ve been raised as a VAF member. I was first introduced to the organization by Anna Andrzejewski while an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. I attended my first field school (co-taught by Anna, Tom Carter, and Janet Gilmore) measuring what were effectively people’s storehouses in 105 degree weather in Southwestern Wisconsin, and somehow I was hooked. Before long I was auditing classes in the then-fledgling Buildings-Landscapes-Cultures Program organized by Anna and Arijit Sen of UW-Milwaukee, and in 2010 I attended my first VAF conference in Washington, D.C. Since then, I have attended each of the meetings (except, much to my great dismay, Jamaica) and this organization has taken me from the mouth of the St. Lawrence River to the valley fields of Sanpete County, Utah.

After graduation I spent a stint working in Southern Indiana, then joined the Center for Historic Architecture and Design at the University of Delaware for my Master’s Degree, followed by a few years working for the City of Philadelphia’s Parks and Rec Department as an architectural historian. This fall I returned to Madison, pencil and drawing board in hand, to embark upon my PhD coursework—making official my enrollment in the BLC. In every step of my career I have relied on the methodologies and ideas put forth by VAF scholars, and have turned to their words just as frequently outside of academia as within. It is in this spirit that I welcome the opportunity to step into this role, as bibliographer for the VAF, to care for and contribute to the document that celebrates those words.

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