I research the environmental history of nineteenth and twentieth century America. I am particularly interested in the historical interaction of people and animals. Sometimes I write about these things — see below!
I also love dogs.
My dissertation explores animal acclimatization - that is, the intentional introduction of foreign wild animals to new areas - in America. It argues that it was far greater in scope, magnitude, and meaning than historians have so far appreciated.
I'm also working on two other projects.
One is a study of the American commercial animal trade and its attendant parts: exotic pet ownership, commercial animal dealers, laws and regulations, exploitation of developing nations, et cetera.
The second is a study of the American fur industry AFTER the colonial and early republican periods. Provisionally entitled "Fashion Victims" I explore the longstanding anti-fur, anti-animal cruelty movement as well as the horrible toll the popularity of fur garments has taken on wildlife in the last 150 years.
Barrie Ryne Blatchford, "'Make the Desert Blossom Like the Rose': Animal Acclimatization, Settler Colonialism, and the Construction of Oregon's Nature," Oregon Historical Quarterly 122, 3 (2021): 214-249.
* Winner of the biennial 2022 Fishel-Calhoun Article Prize from the Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era.
Barrie Ryne Blatchford, "Dispatches from 'Anthropoid Ellis Island': New York City's More-Than-Human History," The Gotham Center for New York History, March 25, 2021.