Melissa Blair

Melissa Blair studies the history of architecture, landscapes, and material culture. Her research and teaching relate to the cultural and architectural history of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century America and to the field of public history. She is co-author with Richard Striner of Washington and Baltimore Art Deco: A Design History of Neighboring Cities (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014). Prior to joining the Department of History, she worked for more than 15 years as an architectural historian and historic preservationist for a variety of public, private, and nonprofit organizations. Her current research project, “Industrious Landscapes: Architecture, Households, and Work in Maryland’s Piedmont, 1760-1930,” focuses on the Mid-Atlantic region’s rural buildings and landscapes, the farming patterns that shaped them, and their preservation. She is responsible for the public history minor for UMBC’s B.A. in history at the Universities at Shady Grove. She recently won the 2018 Kendall Service Award for Excellence in Teaching from the Universities at Shady Grove, recognizing her as the best teacher among representatives of nine different universities.