Theresa McCulla and Brian Goldstein met as undergraduates at Harvard where each developed academic expertise in niche studies of American history. Brian is an architectural historian who focuses on the social and economic implications of what we build. His research on the history of urban development in Harlem in the late 20th century was recently published as The Roots of Urban Renaissance. Theresa is a doctoral student in American Studies who researches the food culture of New Orleans.
How a Cincinnati boy and Virginia girl who studied New York City and New Orleans from Cambridge, MA wound up in Albuquerque is representative of academia’s geographic pinball. Brian is in the third year of a tenure-tract position at University of New Mexico. Their personal ‘tomorrow’ will follow the complex path of many dual-academic couples that try to find one place for both of them to pursue their passion. But their responses to my question transcend their particular situation.
How will we live tomorrow?
“One thing historians note is that we tend to think cyclically. Humans are improving all the time. We downplay the present and reminisce about the past. I hope tomorrow will be better, but we will continue to be shortsighted. It is hard for people to long-term plan. But when someone is in pain we are apolitical. We lend a hand. The lesson of history is that we’re always improving, and always getting worse.” – Brian
“I have two thoughts. At the big scale we are going to experience the effects of climate change. We are seeing that with catastrophic storms but also when certain fish are no longer on the menu. The second is related to the election. It is highlighting fundamental differences. The America of the future is going to look very different than it has, and that is good.” – Theresa