Michelle Mart

Associate professor of history at Penn State, Berks Campus, in southeastern Pennsylvania, USA

About Mart

Michelle Mart is an associate professor of history at Penn State, Berks Campus, in southeastern Pennsylvania, USA. She is also Acting Head of the Division of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences.

Mart’s role in Deadly Dreams is the subproject “Going Back to Paradise? Embracing or Rejecting Nature in the Backyard?”

Mart writes about the intersections of cultural and environmental history, especially regarding pesticides and how we produce our food. She is the author of Pesticides, A Love Story: America’s Enduring Embrace of Dangerous Chemicals (Lawrence KS: University Press of Kansas, 2015) which examined the remarkable cultural and political continuity in American attitudes toward synthetic pesticides, from World War II to the present day. The book explains the roots of these generally positive views, even in the face of serious health and environmental consequences from pesticide use. Love is not rational, nor are American attitudes toward pesticides. She is currently working on a project focusing in particular on the relationship between food, culture, and the environment.

Mart’s first book, Eye on Israel: How America Came to View Israel as an Ally (Albany: SUNY, 2006), investigated the intersections between cultural images of Israel and Jews and the foreign policy of the United States.

A sample of Mart’s other publications include: “Pesticides and the Transformation of National Audubon Society,” in America after Nature: Democracy, Culture, Environment, German Association for American Studies, forthcoming; “U.S.-Israeli Relations and the Quest for Peace in the Middle East,” in Robert McMahon and Thomas Zeiler (eds.). A Guide to U.S. Foreign Policy: A Diplomatic History. Washington DC: Congressional Quarterly Press, 2012; and “Rhetoric and Response: The Cultural Impact of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring,” Left History, 14.2, Summer 2010.