Paul Groth, American Studies co-founder, honored

Portrait photograph of Paul Groth.
Above: Paul Groth. Photo courtesy of Chris Wilson, University of New Mexico.

Paul Groth, co-founder of the UC Berkeley Program in American Studies, and professor emeritus of geography and architecture, has been honored by a “Festschrift” in Platform.

Numerous colleagues and former students have penned this collective literary tribute to Groth, including American Studies affiliated faculty Margaret Crawford (Architecture), Margaretta Lovell (History of Art), and Alexander Benjamin Craghead (American Studies). Additional honors come from former UC Berkeley faculty Mary Ryan (History), Dell Upton (Architecture), and Richard Walker (Geography).

Groth made profound contributions to Berkeley and to American Studies. As Margaret Crawford notes:

As a professor, he wrote about unexpected but important topics, his research techniques were famous for being both exacting and creative, he was a meticulous and generous editor, and, as an advisor, he turned out a remarkable number of outstanding scholars. As a human being, he had integrity, possessed a delightful sense of humor, and was overly modest. But if I have to choose his major contribution, it would be his undergraduate teaching.

Margaretta Lovell adds that “hundreds of Berkeley undergraduates took Paul’s legendary course, American Cultural Landscapes….” a “must-take triple crosslist for students in architecture, geography, and American Studies” that greatly expanded on the pioneering work of John Brinckerhoff Jackson. The American Studies program would not be what it is today without his contributions.

Alexander Craghead, who was Groth’s Ph.D. advisee, also includes a tribute to Groth’s “care for the written word” as “reflections of his care for his students.” This Fall, Dr. Craghead will teach The American Landscape: Place, Power, and Culture, a course cross-listed in American Studies and Geography, and based upon Dr. Groth’s landmark teaching.

Congratulations to Dr. Groth for this honor by Platform.