“Roots through Asphalt: A Conversation with Sonja Dümpelmann”

Dümpelmann, Sonja and Pauline Kargruber | from Multimedia Library Collection:

Aerial view of Chicago’s downtown.

Dümpelmann, Sonja and Pauline Kargruber. “Roots through Asphalt: A Conversation with Sonja Dümpelmann.” Springs: The Rachel Carson Center Review, no. 3 (May 2023). 

Sonja Dümpelmann is a landscape historian who is currently working on how grass species have transformed the world, and the history and political implications of window gardening in Philadelphia. During the pandemic, she began growing avocado plants, aspiring to turn her office into a grove. Her most recent publications include an authored monograph, Seeing Trees: A History of Street Trees in New York City and Berlin (Yale University Press, 2019), and an edited volume, Landscapes for Sport: Histories of Physical Exercise, Sport, and Health (Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, 2022). Pauline Kargruber is a literary scholar and editor at the Rachel Carson Center. She has a raised garden bed under her kitchen window, where she currently grows radishes, spinach, peas, and marigolds. Below, Sonja and Pauline talk plants in urban environments. (From the article)

This article was originally published in Springs: The Rachel Carson Center Review. The journal is an online publication featuring peer-reviewed articles, creative nonfiction, and artistic contributions that showcase the work of the Rachel Carson Center and its community across the world.

2023 Sonja Dümpelmann and Pauline Kargruber

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