Dr. Michael Amundson
research and teaching area is the history of the American West. I have
published several articles that grew out of my M.A. thesis including this prize winning article on the history of the sport of polo in northern Wyoming. I have also published two books on the Atomic West (above). Yellowcake
Towns grew out of my doctoral dissertation and examines the history of the
uranium industry and its effects on four towns in the American West.
addition to the Atomic West, I have also published three books on rephotography
in Wyoming. The first, Wyoming Time and Again, was published in 1991 as
a coffee table style book that compared images made by Cheyenne, Wyoming,
photographer J.E. Stimson with repeat images I made while an undergraduate at
the University of Wyoming in 1987-1988. The University Press of Colorado
published the next two books which grew out of a second rephotography project
made two decades after the first, in 2007 and 2008. The first of these, Passage
to Wonderland, examines the history of the Cody Road to Yellowstone
National Park and compares 39 images made by Stimson the week the road opened
in 1903 with my color photographs made 105 years later.
The second book,
Wyoming Revisited is the culmination of three decades of research and field
work on Stimson and contains repeat photographs of 117 sites. Chapters discuss
how the images can be used to better understand historic preservation,
globalization, modernity and post modernity, and the effect of digital
photography on history. The book contains modern color images and 17 fold out
panoramas. Photographic samples and a link to a radio interview about the book
is available here.
past year I have completed a new manuscript for the University of Oklahoma
Press that examines cowboy and Indian music produced for Edison and Victor
phonographs prior to World War I. Its working title is Talking Machine Cowboys
and Indians: The First Western Records, 1902-1918. A sample of the 1912 Indestructible Cylinder recording of Bob Roberts singing Ragtime Cowboy Joe can
be heard by clicking on the sheet music.
My teaching areas of specialty are 19th and 20th century West, the Southwest, and Recent American History. I teach specialized courses within those fields including ones on Lewis and Clark, Material Culture, and the History of US Sports. I serve as the Public History Director for the department as well and teach a public history course every spring.