Marguerite S. Shaffer

Contact Information

photo of Marguerite Shaffer225 Shideler Hall
Oxford, OH 45056
(513) 529-7527


American Studies; History


PhD, Harvard University
MA, Harvard University
BA summa cum laude, University of Pennsylvania


Dr. Shaffer's teaching and research focuses on U.S. environmental and cultural history with an emphasis on popular environmentalism and consumer culture.

In 2011, Shaffer received the Mid-America American Studies Association Elizabeth Kolmer Award for teaching and mentoring in American Studies. In 2010, she received the College of Arts and Science Distinguished Educator Award.


Shaffer is the author of See America First: Tourism and National Identity, 1880-1940 (2001) and the editor of Public Culture: Diversity, Democracy, and Community in the United States (2008), and Rendering Nature: Animals, Bodies, Places, Politics with Phoebe S. K. Young (2015).

She has published a number of articles on transnational wildlife tourism, tourism and national identity, national parks, scenery, and regional identity of the American West. She also has worked as a research associate for the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History and served as a consultant for the Autry Museum of Western History.

Dr. Shaffer's book in progress, Animal Encounters: The Strange History of Tourists and Wildlife in 20th Century America, is a cultural and environmental history examining a series of tourist-wildlife experiences that have defined popular environmentalism over the past century. Focused on four iconic wild animals inhabiting four distinct ecosystems—bears (Rocky Mountains), dolphins (Atlantic Ocean), gorillas (Virunga Mountains), and penguins (Antarctica)—each chapter traces the origins and experiences of the human-animal interactions that became popular during a particular historical moment in a particular ecosystem, while examining the larger implications of these human-animal relationships.

Other Activities

Shaffer has served on the board of Ohio Humanities since 2011.

She served as Humanities Center Altman Fellow facilitating a yearlong program entitled "The Anthropocene: A New Era in Human-Environment Relations" with Tom Crist (Department of Biology) in 2014-15. She is currently, co-PI working with Alfredo Huerta (Department of Biology) on a Provost Interdisciplinary Innovation grant to establish the Miami University Food Studies Institute.

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