The Butte-Silver Bow Public Archives will continue its Brown Bag Lunch series on Wednesday, August 28, with a presentation by Jen Dunn called “Superfunded: Recreating Nature in a Postindustrial West.” The EPA Superfund program was established in 1980 and over 1,700 locations have been placed on the National Priorities List (NPL). Superfund sites cover a vast array of environmental damages that contaminate the land and impact the health of citizens across the nation. Superfund’s goal is to clean up some of the nation’s most contaminated waste sites.
Former mining communities in the Intermountain West were built on a premise of wealth and power fortified by resource extraction. Mining and smelting generated incredible wealth as well as incredible waste. The Superfund solution to this waste reveals how governments, communities, and individual perceive and respond to the material consequences of our capitalist and industrial decisions.
Using Butte and Libby as her case studies, Jen explores how the social, industrial, and environmental histories of these communities in Montana shaped their experiences with the federal government through Superfund. As a Ph.D. candidate, Jen is working on her dissertation and is a graduate teaching assistant in the department of history and philosophy at Montana State University.
Jennifer Dunn grew up in Bozeman and traveled east to Pennsylvania for her undergraduate degree. Eventually, she grew to miss the mountains and returned home for her Master’s degree in history at Montana State University. Upon graduating, she stayed on campus and worked in the Admissions office, recruiting students from around the nation and running the Orientation program which welcomed them to campus. Jen returned to the history department and started her Ph.D. which examines the transformation of mining towns to Superfund sites.
The presentation will begin at noon and run about an hour at the Archives, 17 W. Quartz. Guests are encouraged to bring a sack lunch. Coffee and water will be provided.
Brown Bag Lunches are held the second and fourth Wednesdays of every month. Upcoming lectures will focus on topics of local interest. For more information, contact the Archives at 782-3280.