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Melanie teaches global and American architectural history lecture courses and cultural studies seminars. Her research interests lie in the exploration of the complementary and dynamic intersections inherent in the “layered landscapes” of wilderness and culture and how the study of the built environment informs their interpretation. She is interested in tourism and the American West and their analogous roles as generators of American cultural identity.
Melanie continues her research in the emergence and development of the early second homes of Colorado and the Mountain West (1880 – 1940) as vehicles of individual agency and invention; strong barometers of cultural convention and identity, including notions of tradition and modernity; and access points for examining regional landscapes.