Jared Farmer

Jared Farmer

Walter H. Annenberg Professor of History

U.S. history, environmental history, landscape studies

215-746-7473

College Hall 306B

Website

Jared Farmer studies the histories of built and unbuilt environments from the hyperlocal to the planetary. His temporal expertise is the long nineteenth century; his regional expertise is the North American West.

At Penn, Prof. Farmer is affiliated with the History and Sociology of Science Graduate Group; the Religious Studies Graduate Group; and the Initiative in the History of the Built Environment at the Weitzman School of Design.

He has received fellowships and grants from institutions such as the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Humanities Center, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. In 2014, the Dallas Institute presented him the Hiett Prize in the Humanities; in 2017, the Carnegie Corporation of New York named him an Andrew Carnegie Fellow; and in 2018, the American Academy in Berlin awarded him a Berlin Prize. Farmer has been profiled in the Chronicle of Higher Education and the Pennsylvania Gazette.

His peer-reviewed essays include Executive Domain: Military Reservations in the Wartime West, in World War II and the West It Wrought (Stanford, 2020); Taking Liberties with Historic Trees, in the Journal of American History (March 2019); and Technofossil, in Future Remains: A Cabinet of Curiosities for the Anthropocene (Chicago, 2018). For Reviews in American History, he has contributed essays on postural yoga in America, genocide in California, and other topics. He has also written guest essays for the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, Smithsonian, and BBC Future.

Farmer’s book On Zion’s Mount: Mormons, Indians, and the American Landscape (Harvard University Press, 2008) won the Francis Parkman Prize from the Society of American Historians. His latest book, Elderflora: A Modern History of Ancient Trees (Basic Books, 2022), won the Jacques Barzun Prize from the American Philosophical Society.

In October 2023, he delivered the 28th annual Leonard J. Arrington Mormon History Lecture, which will be published in the coming months by USU Press as The Sound of Modern Mormonism: Music, Vocality, and the Media of Religion.

His long-term book projects are “The Aerial View” (a history of seeing); “Vicarious Writing” (a history of family); and “The Everlasting Stone Age” (a history of rocks).

Currently, Prof. Farmer is leading a collaborative digital history project, “Petrosylvania,” that will result in a website hosted by Penn Libraries: “Americas First Petrochemical Corridor.” Visit Farmer’s personal website for various self-published digital projects, including The Energies of Penn, Restoring Greatness to Utah, and Mormons in the Media.

Office Hours
By appointment; I am on reseach leave in academic year 2023–24.
Education

Ph.D., Stanford University

M.A., University of Montana

B.A., Utah State University

Courses Taught

American Monuments

American West

Craft of Writing

Making of Modern America

Petrosylvania

Question of Scale in History

CV (file)