Anne E. Mosher

Associate Professor, Geography

Anne Mosher

Contact Information

404C Maxwell Hall
(315) 443-1510


Ph.D., Geography, Pennsylvania State University, 1989


Urban planning and geographies of infrastructure, crisis and disaster management, public scholarship and community engagement, digital humanities


Geography 171:  Human Geographies (Spring 2011)
Geography 313:  The United States (Fall 2010)
Geography 491:  Senior Seminar (Fall 2010)
Geography 500:  Geographies of Memory
Geography 564:  Urban Historical Geography
Geography 774:  Seminar in Historical Geography (Spring 2011: Geographies of Infrastructure and the State)


Dr. Anne E. Mosher is Chair of the Maxwell Citizenship and Civic Engagement Program and Associate Professor of Geography at Syracuse University.  A Senior Research Fellow in the Maxwell School’s Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs, she is also a member of the inaugural class of New York Public Scholars for the New York Council for the Humanities (2015-17), a past board member to the Alden Street Foundation—a local 504(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides seed money for community-based projects in low-income neighborhoods—and volunteers at St. Lucy’s Food Pantry on Syracuse’s Near Westside.   

Mosher’s teaching and research interests focus on the history of urban planning and infrastructure (including the Erie Canal), engaged placemaking, crisis and disaster management, public memory as expressed via social media, and interdisciplinary theories of space and place.  Having published in her discipline’s leading journals, Mosher’s 2004 book—Capital’s Utopia (Johns Hopkins University Press), is based on work that won the Association of American Geographers’ Nystrom Award for Best Ph.D. Dissertation research and chronicles the creation of Vandergrift, Pennsylvania, the first model industrial town planned by Frederick Law Olmsted’s landscape architectural firm.   Currently, she is writing a book that sits at the intersection of mixed methods social science research and the digital humanities.  It explores user-generated content about New York State found on three Web 2.0 internet platforms:  Trip Advisor, Ancestry, and Facebook.   With a working title of Low Bridge, Everybody Down: Social Media Geographies and the Reinvention of New York State and the Erie Canal, Mosher’s book suggests relevant “talking points” for fostering local civic engagement, possible sites for grassroots-driven economic and social development, and calls for geographers and historians to pay greater attention to the work of “citizen” and “DIY” lay scholars who are publishing their work for online audiences. 

Dr. Mosher is past editor of the journal Historical Geography, the founder of Histgeog:  The Historical Geography Internet Discussion Group (now H-Histgeog on H-Net), and past book review editor for the Americas for Journal of Historical Geography.   A holder of Ph.D. and Master of Science degrees in geography from the Pennsylvania State University, Mosher attended Lancaster University (U.K.) where she studied social (public) administration, comparative foreign policy, and urban political geography.  She graduated magna cum laude from Macalester College with double majors in geography and international studies.   


2010.   Mosher, Anne E., and Laurie A. Wilkie. “Historical Archaeo-Geographies of Scaled Statehood: American Federalism and Material Practices of National Prohibition in California, 1917–1933,” Archaeologies:  Journal of the World Archaeological Congress 6 (1):82-114.

2009.     Mosher, Anne E. “Earle’s Theory and Conception of the Geographical History of the United States,” in Heppen, John and Samuel M. Otterstrom, eds. Geography, History and the American Political Economy, Lanham, MD:  Lexington Books, pp. 7-18.

2009.   Mosher, Anne E. “Earle’s Dialectical Policy Regimes and the Erie Canal,” in Heppen and Otterstrom, op. cit., pp. 99-124.

2008.  Mosher, Anne E.  “Downtown Westmoreland’s Heritage:  From the Age of McKinley to the Disney Age,” Westmoreland History, Winter, pp. 17-27.

2005.  “Forum” (invited editorial on the issues of accuracy and relevance in Historical Geography), Past Place:  The Newsletter of the Historical Geography Specialty Group of the Association of American Geographers  13 (Spring/Summer):  6-8.

2004.  Mosher, Anne E.  Capital’s Utopia: Vandergrift, Pennsylvania, 1855-1916.  Baltimore:  Johns Hopkins University Press.  

1998.  Mosher, Anne E. and Monique M. Wheeler. "Riverboat Gaming as Urban Revitalization 'Lagniappe': The Case of Baton Rouge, Louisiana," in Meyer-Arendt, Klaus J. and Rudi Hartmann eds. Casino Gambling in America:  Origins, Patterns  and Impacts.  Elmsford, New York:  Cognizant Communication Corporation.

1995.  Mosher, Anne E., Barry Keim and Susan Franques.  "Downtown Dynamics," Geographical Review 85:506-526.
(this paper examines the evolution of land-use patterns along New Orleans’ Canal Street between the 1880s and 1990s.)

1995.  Mosher, Anne E.  "'Something Better than the Best':  Industrial Restructuring, George McMurtry and the Creation of the Model Industrial Town of Vandergrift, Pennsylvania, 1883-1901," Annals of the Association of American Geographers 85:84-107. 

1992.  Mosher, Anne E. and Deryck W. Holdsworth.  "The meaning of alley housing in industrial communities:  Examples from late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century Pennsylvania."  Journal of Historical Geography 18: 174-189. 

Recent Book Reviews / Editorials / Reports / Non-Peer Reviewed Publications / Creative Work

2014.   Mosher, Anne E. “If Lincoln’s a metro area, then let’s study it that way,” Lincoln (Nebraska) Journal-Star, December 14 (Sunday edition).

2014.   Mosher, Anne E. “What is Geography? A Prezi”. Created through my role as project manager and as a faculty contribution to  An Underground Undergraduate Geography Website (Course Project for Geography 491:  Senior Seminar in Geography).

2008.   Mosher, Anne E. “Downtown Westmoreland’s Heritage:  From the Age of McKinley to the Disney Age,” Westmoreland History, Winter, pp. 17-27.


Teaching Appointments

Associate Professor, Syracuse University, 1998-
Assistant Professor, Syracuse University, 1995-1998
Assistant Professor, Louisiana State University, 1990-1995  

Research Interests

Urban and regional infrastructure planning in the U.S. and E.U.:  policies, politics, professional practices and their landscape and community implications
Multi-scalar geographies of intergovernmental relations in the U.S. and E.U., 1789 to the present
Places down the urban hierarchy
Critical geography of place commodification and heritage tourism
Feminist cognitive mapping, critical cartography and the contestation of place memories
Multi-scalar dynamics of industrial restructuring
Geographical history and historical research methods in geography 

Research Grants and Awards

2015-2017.     New York Public Scholar, New York Council for the Humanities.  Selected from a statewide competition to serve as one of the 31-member inaugural cohort of New York Public Scholars.

2014.     Geography Education “30 Best Web Resources of 2014” Designation for “What is Geography?  A Prezi,” National Geographic’s Network of Alliances of Geography Education.

2011.     Westmoreland Heritage and Westmoreland Library Network, selection of Capital’s Utopia: Vandergrift, Pennsylvania, 1855-1916 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004) as the reading for the One Book, One Community adult summer reading program.

2007.     The 2007 Arthur St. Clair Lecturer of Westmoreland County History, University of Pittsburgh—Greensburg (funded by the University of Pittsburgh, the Westmoreland County Historical Society, and the Robertshaw Family Foundation).

2006.     “Maps as Stories,” New York Council for the Humanities, $3,000.  (With Anne E. Munly.)

1999-2004.     Syracuse University Vision Fund Grant, Urban Mapping Research Initiative:  Representations of the City of Rome, NY, $27,000 (with Mark Linder, Don Mitchell, and Anne Munly).

1991.     J. Warren Nystrom Dissertation Award, Association of American Geographers (for "Capital Transformation and the Restructuring of Place:  The Creation of a Model Industrial Town.").

1987-1988.     Most Distinguished Course for College Credit in Independent Learning, National University Continuing Education Association (author's award for Human Geography--An Introduction) 

Recent Activities

Recent Paper Presentations / Invited Talks / Exhibitions / Media Appearances:

2016.     “Urban Geography and Engaged Placemaking.”  Interview on the Ideas Matter WAMC Public Radio Program. Albany, NY.

2016.     “Mapping Granville Memories.”  Invited presentation, Granville Public Library, Granville, NY.

2015.     “Infrastructures of Memory, Memories of Infrastructure: Online Family Histories,  New York State’s Canals.”  Invited dinner address to the faculty of the SU College of Arts and Sciences.

2015.     "Low Bridges in the Cloud:  Web 2.0 Social Media User-Generated Content about the Erie and NYS Barge Canals."  Invited presentation to the Commissioners of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor.  Meeting hosted by the National Park Service at Oswego, NY.   

2015.     “Interview with Anne Mosher—SITETL”  (SITETL is the Syracuse University Summer Institute for Technology Enhanced Teaching and Learning).  Online Learning Services—a Division of Information Technology Services, Syracuse University.  Published March.

2015.     “Rethinking Infrastructure as a Focal Point of Disaster Research.”  Invited Lecture.  Humphrey Spring Institute on Crisis and Disaster Management, Executive Education Program, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY.  

2014.     “There is No One-Size-Fits-All Model:  Embodied and Collaborative Interdisciplinarities.”  Keynote Address.  Syracuse University Graduate Research Symposium.  (Sponsored by the Syracuse University Graduate Student Organization and the Syracuse University Future Professoriate Project).

2014.     “Rethinking Infrastructure to Understand Vulnerability and Resilience as Concepts + A (Very) Brief History of Disaster Research.”  Invited Lecture.  Humphrey Spring Institute on Crisis and Disaster Management, Executive Education Program, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY.  

2013.     “We Did It at St. Lucy’s”: Unlikely Coalitions in a Model Place- and Faith-Based Community Initiative.”  Special session on “Faith, Social Justice and the City.” Fourth International and Interdisciplinary Conference on Emotional Geographies, University of Groningen, The Netherlands.  Co-authored with Marilyn R. Higgins and Margaret Susan Thompson.  

2010.     “State-Assisted “Sewer-(s/c)ide” and the Municipal Phoenix:  The Death of a Public Work (the Erie Canal) through Public Work.”  Syracuse University Department of Geography Colloquium Series, Syracuse,   NY.

2010.     “Beantown Claimed from the Bay:  How Boston’s Geography Has Changed from the Colonial Period to the Present Day.”  Invited Pre-6th Grade Field Trip Classroom Presentation. Holy Cross School, DeWitt, NY.

2010.     “Urban Imaginaries and the Disney/Pixar Canon of Feature-Length Film: "Cars" as a Neoliberal Swansong?”  Paper presented at the Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C.

2010.     “W(h)ither  the Humanities in Geography?  What We Might Learn about the Status of Historical Geography from the Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 1980-2009.”  Short invited position paper presented for panel discussion at the Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C.

2009.     “Toward a historical archaeo-geography of the rise of the American Welfare State:  Spatial re-scaling and the materiality of Prohibition and the New Deal,” Conference of the Theoretical Archaeology Group, Stanford, CA.  Co-authored with Laurie A. Wilkie.

2007.     “Westmoreland’s Downtown Heritage:  From the McKinley Era to the Disney Age,” 2007 Arthur St. Clair Lecture, an invited public address sponsored by Westmoreland Heritage, The Westmoreland County Historical Society, and the University of Pittsburgh.  Greensburg, PA, October 10th.

2007.     “Discovering Community Memories and Your Sense of Place:  A Cognitive Mapping Workshop.”  Facilitated for select Westmoreland County high school AP History students as part of the 2007 Arthur St. Clair Lectureship.  Sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh.  Greensburg, PA.  October 10th.

2007.     “Maps as Stories:  An Exhibition on Community Mapping in Rome, New York,” September-November 2007, Rome Historical Society, Rome, NY.  
                NOTE:  Anne Munly (Syracuse University School of Architecture) was solely responsible for the construction and installation of this exhibition. My contribution occurred between 2001 and 2006 through the collaborative research project on which Munly’s exhibition was based.    

2006.     “Low Bridge/No Bridge!:  The Temporary Emergency Relief Administration and the Erie Canal at Rome, 1931-1934.” Conference on New York State History, New York City, NY.

2006.     Invited Panel Member, Roundtable discussion on “Sustainable Cities and Ecological Urban Design Planning” on “Talk of the Nation:  Science Friday” (hosted by Ira Flatow), National Public Radio, May 19th.

2006.     “Toward a Cognitive Mapping Aesthetic.” Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL.  Co-authored with Anne E. Munly.

2006.     “Low Bridge!/No Bridge!:  Public Memory and Creative Destruction along the Erie Canal.”  Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL.


Professional Service

2015-.     New York Public Scholar.  New York Council for the Humanities.
2014-.     Academic Consultant to the Bishop Grimes Junior-Senior High School Board of Trustees, East Syracuse, NY.
2010-2012.     Science Fair and Social Studies Fair Judge, Holy Cross School, DeWitt, NY
2008-2013.     Board Member, The Alden Street Foundation:  Promoting Charity, Spirituality, Community Building, and Peace and Justice Activities in Central New York, Syracuse, NY.
2007.     Lecturer and Field Trip Leader, Pennsylvania Heritage Partnership Conference, Indiana, Pennsylvania.
2003-2006.     Advisory Board, International Studies Review.
2002-.     Editorial Board, H-Histgeog.
1996-2002.     Coordinator, The Historical Geography Internet Discussion Group.
1996-2003.     Editorial Board, Geographical Review.
1995-2004.     Editorial Board, Historical Geography.
1994-1999.     Book Review Editor for the Americas,  Journal of Historical Geography.
1992-1995.     Editor, Historical Geography.
1992-1993.     Secretary/Treasurer, Historical Geography Specialty Group, Association of American Geographers.
1991-1992.     Councilor, Historical Geography Specialty Group, Association of American Geographers.