The two Project Directors are faculty members at Ramapo College of New Jersey:


Meredith Davis has a Ph.D. in Art History and Archaeology from Columbia University and teaches nineteenth-century American art and visual culture. She was a visiting Associate Professor at Barnard College from 2011-2012, where she taught American art history and a seminar on the culture of the Hudson River.

Stephen Rice, who earned his Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale University, teaches and writes on nineteenth-century American social and cultural history, with a special emphasis on labor, technology, and visual culture. He is author of Minding the Machine: Languages of Class in Early Industrial America (2004). Currently, he is Dean of the Salameno School of Humanities and Global Studies.

In addition, the workshop will include six faculty members, each of whom has expertise on some aspect of the cultural or environmental history of the Hudson River:

Myra Young Armstead is Professor of Historical Studies at Bard College where she has taught since 1985 with major research interests in urban history and African-American history. For several years, she chaired her department as well as the American Studies Program. She is the author of Freedom’s Gardener: James F. Brown, Horticulture, and the Hudson Valley in Antebellum America (2012); Mighty Change, Tall Within: Black Identity in the Hudson Valley (2003); and  “Lord, Please Don’t Take Me in August”: African Americans in Newport and Saratoga Springs (1999). From 2003 to 2011, she served as Speaker in the Humanities for the New York Council for the Humanities. She has been a member of the New York Academy of History since 2006. Most recently for the 2014-2015 academic year, she is NEH Fellow/Schomburg Center Scholar-in-Residence.

Stephen Stanne holds an MS in Science Teaching from Antioch University. He teaches a graduate course for secondary school classroom teachers in Hudson River Studies at the State University of New York at New Paltz and oversaw the remodeling of a Hudson riverfront building into a teaching field station, now the Esopus Meadows Environmental Center. He served for over 18 years as the Education Director of the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, an organization founded by Pete Seeger, which has been at the heart of the environmental and educational activism on Hudson River since it was founded. He was lead author, illustrator, and project manager for The Hudson: An Illustrated Guide to the Living River, a comprehensive reference to the Hudson River ecology, history, and environmental issues. He will introduce us to some of the physical realities of the Hudson on our first day, using an array of creative hands-on learning activities and also sharing resources and knowledge of current scientific research on the Hudson.


Elizabeth Hutchinson is an Associate Professor of Art History at Barnard College and Columbia University, where she teaches on a wide range of subjects within the field of American Art and Visual Culture. Professor Hutchinson has regularly taught an art history class titled “Tourism and the American Landscape” that focuses on the formative role of the Hudson River in defining the American aesthetic. She has been recognized with the Gladys Brooks Junior Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award from Barnard College. At our workshop, Professor Hutchinson will give a lecture on how aesthetic ideas, patriotism and tourism all influence and are influenced by Hudson RIver School paintings. She will also accompany us to the Hudson River Museum and take part in activities there.


Carley Moore holds a B.A. in Comparative Literature from Binghamton University, a M.A. in English Literature and Poetry from New York University, and a Ph.D. in English Education from New York University. She is a Master Teacher of Writing in the Liberal Studies Program at New York University and an Associate at the Institute for Writing and Thinking at Bard College. Her dissertation, entitled Seventeen Magazine and the Girl Writer, examines the relationship between popular American culture, American political movements in the last forty years, and how teenage girls have responded to these cultural and political changes in writing for Seventeen magazine. Carley’s poetry, essays, and articles have appeared in The American Poetry Review, Aufgabe, Coconut, Fence, and The Journal of Popular Culture. She is the Book Review Editor for the website Writing in Public, and her debut young adult novel, The Stalker Chronicles was published by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux in 2012.


Judith Richardson is a Senior Lecturer at Stanford University and holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University. She is the author of Possessions: The History and Uses of Haunting in the Hudson Valley, published by Harvard University Press in 2003. Her book is a nuanced reading of the ways in which the Hudson Valley has been haunted by its own history and how the history of ghost stories that enrich the area play a large part in the construction of the Hudson as a cultural and literary site. Her work analyzes the stories of Irving alongside folktales and local storytelling practices, and mirrors the interdisciplinary approach taken in the workshop. Professor Richardson will accompany us to Irving’s home and lead a discussion on his work and the literature of the antebellum Hudson at the site.


Thomas Wermuth is Associate Professor of History at Marist College and founder of the Hudson River Valley Institute, a leading regional history program that publishes the journal The Hudson River Valley Review: A Journal of Regional Studies. Wermuth is also the editor of the State University of New York’s book series “An American Region” and the author of the 2001 book Rip Van Winkle’s Neighbors: The Transformation of Rural Society in the Hudson River Valley, 1720-1850. Dr. Wermuth currently serves as the Vice President for Academic Affairs at Marist, which is located along the Hudson River. His lecture for our workshop will give a picture of rural life in the Hudson River Valley, drawing on a wide array of resources.