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C.V. Starr Center for the

Study of the American Experience

Patrick Nugent

Deputy Director

Patrick Nugent is a writer, educator, historical tour guide, and Doctor of Philosophy in American Studies. His research and teaching efforts investigate the intersections between place, race, and environment. At Washington College, he teaches environmental and cultural studies in addition to spearheading public history projects focused on the history of the Chesapeake Bay.

His dissertation, “The Urban Environmental Order: Planning and Politics in New York City’s ‘Last Frontier,’” traces the interconnected histories of civil rights and modern environmentalism on Staten Island. A series of his essays exploring the borough’s mid-century history was featured on AHA Today and awarded the American Historical Association’s Annual Blog Prize. His article, “From the Richmond Parkway to the Staten Island Greenbelt: The Rise of Ecological Zoning in New York City,” will soon appear in Journal of Planning History.

Over the past ten years, Nugent has taught and designed courses for the English Department at Brooklyn College and the Department of American Studies at George Washington University.  Courses include “Ecology in American Literature and Politics,” “Ethnicity and Identity in New York City Literature,” “American Architecture, 1860-Present,” and “America in the 1960s.” For a number of these courses, he has guided students on historical tours designed to illuminate class concepts through local explorations. Such tours have included “Landscape, Monuments, and Memory on the National Mall,” “African-American Migrations in the Nation’s Capital,” and “Ecological Landscapes in the Big Apple.” He welcomes students, citizens, staff, and faculty alike to join him in similar explorations of Chestertown and the surrounding Eastern Shore. Give him a ring or email at the Custom House and he will be happy to arrange a tour - whether by bike, kayak, or foot.