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Thomas Zeller

University of Maryland, College Park, USA

Thomas Zeller is associate professor at the University of Maryland, College Park, USA, where he teaches environmental history, the history of technology, and science and technology studies. He received his Dr.phil. from the Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich in 1999 and has worked in the United States since then. His publications include Driving Germany: The Landscape of the German Autobahn, 1930-1970 (2007, paperback edition 2010), a revised English translation of his Straße, Bahn, Panorama. Verkehrswege und Landschaftsveränderung in Deutschland 1930 bis 1990 (2002). He has co-edited the volumes Rivers in History: Perspectives on Waterways in Europe and North America (coedited with Christof Mauch, 2008); The World Beyond the Windshield: Roads and Landscapes in the United States and Europe (coedited with Christof Mauch, 2008); How Green Were the Nazis? Nature, Environment, and Nation in the Third Reich (coedited with Franz-Josef Brüggemeier and Mark Cioc, 2005); and Germany’s Nature: Cultural Landscapes and Environmental History (coedited with Thomas Lekan, 2005).

Articles of Thomas Zeller

Staging the Driving Experience: Parkways in Germany and the United States

What do we see when we drive? The view from the road has been one of the important ways of grasping, understanding, and changing landscapes in the 20th century. Landscape architects, planners, and automotive enthusiasts tried to adapt the automobile to the landscapes surrounding it, and also altered landscapes to make them more amenable to the automobile. The paper focuses on efforts in the United States and Germany to build roads with the prime goal of providing pleasant landscape vistas for drivers and passengers. The politics of designing and building these roads were as contested as the ways in which drivers appropriated them.

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