Anna is Director of the Center for Culture, History, and the Environment and Bradshaw Knight Professor of the Environmental Humanities at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. She teaches courses in the Department of Art History in the history of American art, architecture and material culture. She is also an affiliate of the Department of Planning and Landscape Architecture, the Department of Geography, and the Department of Architecture (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee). 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. She has just begun research on a new project examining vacation and retirement communities in south Florida.
Anna has received numerous grants and awards for her scholarly research and for projects serving her students and the community at large. She has held a Vilas Associates Research Award (2012-14), which helped her work on 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). In 2018, she received an Orland Ridout Fieldwork Fellowship to support a field school class.
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 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.