Erica Hannickel faculty


Earned and Honorary Degrees

PhD American Studies, University of Iowa, Iowa City
MA American Studies, California State University, Fullerton
BA Ethnic Studies, University of California, San Diego


I grew up in the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas in northern California, and spent significant time cross-country skiing, hiking, and canoeing on Donner Summit. I came to love the Midwest in my six years living in Iowa for my doctorate, and am thrilled that northern Wisconsin is a place that perfectly mixes this Midwestern quality of life with astounding forests and all types of water activities, much like my childhood in northern California. I take full advantage of the growing season as an avid organic vegetable, herb, and flower gardener in Ashland's community garden. I am a Wisconsin Master Gardener, a dedicated yogini, and I love to SUP.

I majored in Ethnic Studies as an undergraduate, and continued my studies in the history of social justice in the United States as I gained a master's degree and PhD in American studies. Throughout my training, I have focused on the intersection of multiple American environments with various forms of power.


My research interests, beyond environmental and agricultural history in general, include Victorian material culture and deathways, 19th century botanical gardens, the history and politics of community gardening and guerilla gardening, and LGBT

Awards, Fellowships

  • Northland College Altenburg Professor of Environmental Studies, 2010-2013
  • Northland College Faculty Merit Outstanding Scholarship Award, 2010-2011
  • Annette Kolodny Paper Prize in Environment and Cultural Studies, American Studies Association Annual Meeting 2008, "An Agricultural Empire of Grapevines: Grape Culture in Antebellum America"
  • Association of American University Women (AAUW) American Dissertation Year National Fellow, 2007-2008
  • U.S. National Gallery of Art, Alisa Mellon Bruce Predoctoral Fellowship for Historians of American Art to Travel Abroad, 2005 (Summer tour of botanical gardens in England, Sweden, France)
  • University of Iowa International Forum for U.S. Studies, 2004 Travel Award (presented, studied in Cuba)


  • Empire of Vines: Wine Culture in America, University of Pennsylvania Press (December 2013).
  • Article: Fretting Over Federalism: Reexamining Allegorical Indian Architecture in William Bartram's Travels. ISLE 20:1 (Winter 2013), 85-111.
  • Article: Cultivation and Control: Grape Growing as Expansion in Nineteenth-Century United States and Australia. Comparative American Studies 8:4 (December 2010), 280-96.
  • Article: A Fortune in Fruit: Nicholas Longworth and Grape Speculation in Antebellum Ohio, American Studies 51:1/2,(Spring/Summer 2010): 89-108.


I teach courses in environmental history, agricultural history, and gender and women's studies. Northland has become the perfect place to continue my interdisciplinary work and teaching, especially in the Nature and Culture and Humanities Departments, the gender and women's studies program, the history major, and the Growing Connections program.