Ken Foote has written extensively on American landscape history. He is best known for his book Shadowed Ground: America’s Landscapes of Violence and Tragedy that focuses on how violence and tragedy are marked and memorialized. This work continues to influence debate over sites of violence and tragedy in the U.S. and all around the world. Of special interest is how memory and memory practice is spatialized to particular places and spaces.
Ken’s other major works in cultural geography include the co-edited Re-reading Cultural Geography and the co-authored Narrating Space/Spatializing Narrative. He am also very interested in the development of national commemorative traditions in the U.S. and Europe, racialized landscapes, and the commemoration African American, Chinese American, Japanese American and Jewish American heritage sites in the United States, as well as heritage tourism, and historical GIS.
Areas of Expertise (5)
Violence and Tragedy
University of Chicago: Ph.D., Department of Geography
University of Chicago: M.A., Department of Geography
University of Wisconsin-Madison: B.A. with Honors, Department of Geography
Media Appearances (2)
Should We Memorialize Violence?
BYU Radio radio
Why is it that, after a tragedy, we build a memorial at the site? Maybe it starts as a makeshift monument – a pile of flowers, cards, stuffed animals and candles. Sometimes it evolves into something more formal where a community chooses to permanently memorialize a traumatic event like a mass shooting or terrorist attack. In the aftermath of a tragedy, there is always a tension between wanting to remember and wanting to forget.
Guest: Kenneth Foote, PhD, Professor of Historical Geography, University of Connecticut, Author of “Shadowed Ground: America’s Landscapes of Violence and Tragedy”
The Pulse Memorial and How Communities Respond to Tragedy
Ken Foote, professor of geography at the University of Connecticut and author of the book “Shadowed Ground,” says there has been a generational change in society’s acknowledgement that victims of crimes like the Pulse nightclub shooting need to be honored.
“I think because this was a hate crime, because this was an act of terrorism against the LGBTQ population, this could be a very very important rallying point for stating rights in terms of resolving some of the issues that have been lingering for so long,” Foote says.
James S. Johnson , Ken Foote , Michael McClean & Graham Cogbill
The Cardiff Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) plant, located in Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom, used metallic beryllium in their beryllium facility during the years of operation 1961-1997. The beryllium production processes included melting and casting, powder production, pressing, machining, and heat and surface treatments. As part of Cardiff's industrial hygiene program, extensive area measurements and personal lapel measurements of airborne beryllium concentrations were collected for Cardiff workers over the 36-year period of operation. In addition to extensive air monitoring, the beryllium control program also utilized surface contamination controls, building design, engineering controls, worker controls, material controls, and medical surveillance. The electronic database includes 367,757 area sampling records at 101 locations and 217,681 personal lapel sampling records collected from 194 employees over the period 1981-1997.
Iain Hay , Ken Foote & Mick Healey
A variety of challenges and opportunities associated with educational change, technological shifts and resource limitations make appropriate an international network for geography education. Such a network was established formally in Hawai'i during April 1999 under the name International Network for Learning and Teaching (INLT) Geography in Higher Education. INLT has the goal of improving the quality of learning and teaching of geography in higher education internationally. A number of INLT projects are outlined. These include: establishing a communication network; developing a database and clearinghouse; establishing links with other organisations; linking student projects internationally; and establishing a pilot project to explore learning and teaching strategies.
Mick Healey, Ken Foote, Iain Hay