2021 Road Trip Symposium: Session 1

When:  May 6, 2021 from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM (ET)
Associated with  Route 66 Chapter

10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Tech Check and Networking 

10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Rescaling Geography: Grand Canyon Exploratory and Topographic Mapping, 1777-1978

Nobody truly knows the Grand Canyon. The sheer scale of the place prevents us from ever seeing it fully, from ever learning all of its secrets. Our best efforts to understand the region holistically come through the abstraction afforded by the science and art of cartography. Maps rescale geography, allowing us to conceptualize space between the distances and depths perceived by our senses. In this highly visual and fast-paced talk, we'll cover a two-century chronology of the evolution of exploratory and topographic maps of the greater Grand Canyon region, from the first time it was labeled on a map in 1777 to the creation of a now famous map published in 1978.

Presenter: Matthew Toro is a broadly trained geographer currently serving as the director of maps, imagery, and geospatial services at ASU Library. He leads projects and programming at the Map and Geospatial Hub, a traditional library map collection fused with modern mapping technologies. Matt's research is diverse. He's produced and published insights on subjects ranging from land use conflicts in the agrarian landscapes of southern Laos, to the social impacts of the built environment in greater metropolitan Miami, to the evolution of Grand Canyon cartography. He's the founder and editor of Miami Geographic, an urban geography data visualization blog about the Miami metro region.

11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Networking break

12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m. Disparate Kicks on Route 66: Race, Ethnicity, and Tourism in Northern Arizona 1945-1985

With rising postwar prosperity, more leisure time, and new cars, millions of Americans took to highways like Route 66 on vacation after 1945 visiting tourist attractions like the Grand Canyon and the beaches of southern California. These vacation trips, coupled with the mass migration of Americans to the sunbelt postwar, brought more and more travelers through northern Arizona on Route 66 to the economic benefit of each regional community. These travelers were overwhelmingly Anglo-White. While Anglo-White Americans were actively courted by automobile manufacturers, gasoline companies, national tourism promoters, and local businesses all along Route 66, Black travelers were actively harassed and discriminated against. In many Route 66 communities, particularly small towns like the ones in northern Arizona, Black motorists often could not buy gas, eat in restaurants, and stay in motels. Several Black entrepreneurs launched travel guides to assist Black motorists on successfully navigating long-distance travel and finding places to refuel, eat, and sleep including along Route 66. While passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and subsequent enforcement actions helped to alleviate some of the most egregious disparities, larger market trends contributed significantly to more equity in automobile travel. The rise of large national motel and restaurant chains along interstates with federally required civil rights reporting requirements eliminated mom and pop motel and restaurant businesses along most highways and their uneven treatment of automobile travelers.

Presenter: Daniel Milowski is a PhD candidate in history at Arizona State University. He has a B.A. in history from Bemidji State University, a master's in journalism from the University of Oregon, and a master's in history from Arizona State University. He has presented papers at the Western History Association, Social Science History Association, American History Association Pacific Coast Branch, American Society for Environmental History, and National Council on Public History annual conferences. He has won numerous grants to support his research including awards from the Grand Canyon Historical Society, PCB-AHA, ASEH, SSHA, and Arizona State

University. Daniel's research interests include transportation infrastructure, environmental history, race and ethnicity, and southwestern community development. He also focuses on digital history and digital methods, and has extensive experience using digital historical research methods such as topic modeling, text mining, database analysis, and GIS mapping technology. His dissertation, Children of the Mother Road: Route 66, Regional Transformation, and Community Identity in Northwestern Arizona, 1882-1989, examines the role of transportation infrastructure in regional transformation and social, economic, and community development in northwestern Arizona in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Register for Session 1