History of Science and Technology, 20th c. US., American History, Commodities, Corporations and the Environment, Environment, environmental history, landscape and the built environment
Jesse Ritner is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History at the University of Texas at Austin. His dissertation is tentatively called "Managing Snow: Weather, Technology, and the Rise of the U.S. Ski Industry." Part 1 of the dissertation explores the history of the ski industry as an assemblage that includes the history of snowmaking technologies, the role of the environment in skiing, the experience of skiing, the development of avalanche science, and the role of ski corporations in creating the modern ski industry. By using assemblage theory, I hope to destabilize narratives of skiing that promote an easy and clear path from origins to our current moment. Part two offers three case studies of the results of ski resort development, including the rise of immigrant labor in the west, the access and experience of Black skiers, and finally conflicts between Native nations and Arizona Snowbowl. By training, Jesse is a historian of environment and technology in both U.S. and global contexts. His other interests include Native American and Indigenous Studies, Environmental Humanities (more broadly), and Neo-Materialism, Posthumanism, and Flat Ontologies. Before graduate school, Jesse worked as a ski instructor at Snowmass, Colorado in the winters and as a historic preservationist with the National Park Service in the summer. You can find out more about him at jesseritner.com and you can visit his blog on the history of skiing at the-lift-line.com.