Kendra Smith-Howard

Kendra Smith-Howard

Associate Professor
Department of History


Social Science 060Q

PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison
MA, University of Wisconsin-Madison
BA, St. Olaf College

Kendra Smith-Howard

My research focuses on environmental history in the twentieth-century United States, particularly in its intersection with histories of agriculture, consumer culture, technology and public health. I am interested in directing research in histories of the environment, agriculture and rural life, public health, and consumer culture, particularly in the late nineteenth and twentieth-century United States.
My current research, a book manuscript tentatively entitled The Dirty Environmental History of Cleaning Up, traces how the changing practices of cleaning up altered the ways in which Americans knew nature in the twentieth century, and tracks the environmental consequences of the pursuit of cleanliness in the US. My first book, Pure and Modern Milk, calls attention to the ways in which new standards of purity and changing consumer practices reconfigured the work and material environment of the dairy farm in the twentieth century. I have received funding from the Smithsonian Institution’s Lemelson Center at the National Museum of American History, the Hagley Museum and Library, Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.