Anna is Professor in the Art History Department at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, where she teaches courses in the history of American art, architecture and material culture. She is also an affiliate of the Program in Urban and Regional Planning, the Department of Geography, and the Department of Architecture (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee). In addition she is an active member of the Center for Culture, History and the Environment (CHE), for which she serves as a member of the Steering Committee (2014-17). Anna co-directs the Buildings-Landscapes-Cultures Ph.D. Companion Program, which she co-founded with colleagues at UW-Milwaukee in 2010.
Anna's research centers on American architecture of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Her first book, Building Power: Architecture and the Ideology of Surveillance in Victorian America, was published by the University of Tennessee Press (2008). She is currently completing her second book provisionally entitled One Builder: Marshall Erdman and the Postwar Building Industry in the U.S. This book seeks to tell the history of the building industry in the second half of the twentieth century through looking at Erdman's work, using the extensive archive of the Erdman family. Anna is working with a colleague, Prof. Arnold Alanen (Landscape Architecture), on publishing two edited volumes based on research she has done on buildings in south central and southwestern Wisconsin. Based on two field guides, these volumes will represen the culmination of five years of work related to the 2012 conference of the Vernacular Architecture Forum (VAF). She has also recently worked on a project on efforts to educate builders in postwar America; her findings were published in 2015 in Proceedings of the 5th International Congress on Construction History. She has just begun research on a project dealing with the "boom and bust" landscapes of west Texas.
Anna has received numerous grants and awards for her scholarly research and for projects serving her students and the community at large. She currently holds a Vilas Associates Research Award (2012-14), which will enable her to complete One Builder. On top of numerous internal awards, she has also received outside support for her projects from the Winterthur Museum, the VAF, and the Chipstone Foundation (Milwaukee). Anna has aggressively pursued funding opportunities for her students -- including Project Assistant positions at the University, VAF Ambassador Awards, and internship opportunities (at Chipstone and elsewhere). She has recently applied for two grant-funded projects to support public outreach efforts, one for a neighborhood in Madison and another for southwestern Wisconsin. Anna is also part of a cross-campus team that received seed funding from the Humanities Without Walls Consortium and the Mellon Foundation for research on "Vernaculars of the Upper Midwest."
Outside of her research and teaching, Anna is committed to public outreach and service. She has served on several local boards, including that of the Montessori Children's House, the Madison West YMCA Advisory Board, and the Southwest Aquatics Team. Anna served three years of the City of Madison's Plan Commission, during which time she contributed to the rewrite of the City's Zoning Code and development of a new Downtown Plan. Anna is currently Vice-Chair of the Madison Landmarks Commission.
Anna lives in the Nakoma neighborhood on Madison's west side, with her husband, Matt, and their daughter, Elizabeth.
For more information on Anna's background and experience, please see her CV below.