Michael Wise | Department of History

Michael Wise

Michael Wise University of North Texas
Associate Professor, Director of Graduate Studies
(940) 891-6774
WH 259
Environmental History; Food and Agriculture; Animal-Human Relationships
Historical Geography; History of the American West


I am an environmental historian and cultural geographer with expertise in the histories of food, agriculture, and animal-human relationships. My research blends archival methods with the critical sensibilities of anthropology, film, food studies, Indigenous studies, and science studies, and also extends interdisciplinary ties to plant biology, wildlife ecology and other branches of the life sciences. A core theme of my work is to explore how historical narratives organize our understandings of the biophysical world. I'm especially interested in the role of day-to-day physical practices (such as farming and hunting and cooking and exercising) as historical expressions, as narrative performances that often go unrecognized.

Producing Predators, my first book, tied these themes together in an investigation of the history of American and Canadian campaigns to exterminate gray wolves in the Northern Rockies during the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries.

My current research also expands on these interests. I am finishing a book on the history of food, agriculture, and settler colonialism in American Indian history; I'm co-editing a collection of essays on veganism and cycling with Carol J. Adams; and I'm working on a third book about the history of domestic labor and family practices in the realm of nineteenth-century geographical fieldwork.

At UNT I serve as director of our Undergraduate Food Studies Certificate program, and as the Department of History's Director of Graduate Studies. I edit the University of Arkansas Press's Food and Foodways book series with my UNT colleague, Jennifer Jensen Wallach, and--with my international colleagues Arn Keeling, Briony McDonagh, and John Bauer--edit the American Association of Geographers' peer-reviewed journal Historical Geography.

UNT Faculty Profile

Selected Publications:

Producing Predators: Wolves, Work, and Conquest in the Northern Rockies (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2016).

"The Ties of Historical Geography and Critical Indigenous Studies: An Interview Forum," Historical Geography 46 (December 2018): 239-284.

"Seeing Like a Stomach: Food, the Body, and Jeffersonian Exploration in the Near Southwest," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 120:4 (April 2017): 463-491.

"The Place that Feeds You: Allotment and the Struggle for Blackfeet Food Sovereignty," in Food Across Borders (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2017): 163-180.

"Meat," in The Routledge History of American Foodways, eds. Michael D. Wise and Jennifer Jensen Wallach (New York: Routledge, 2016): 97-112.

"Killing Montana's Wolves: Stockgrowers, Bounty Bills, and the Uncertain Distinction Between Predator and Producer," Montana: The Magazine of Western History 63 (Winter 2013): 51-67.

"Colonial Beef and the Blackfeet Reservation Slaughterhouse, 1879-1895," Radical History Review 110 (2011): 59-82.

Selected Awards and Recent Accomplishments:

2019 - Faculty Spotlight Award for Supporting Student Athletes, University of North Texas.

2018 - H. Bailey Carroll Award, Texas State Historical Association.

2014 - Vivian A. Paladin Award, Montana Historical Society.

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