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April M. Beisaw Honored by the Putnam County Historian for Her New Book

April Beisaw
Courtesy of April Beisaw
April Beisaw

April M. Beisaw, Professor and Chair of Anthropology, received an award from the Putnam County Historian for Taking Our Water for the City: The Archaeology of New York City’s Watershed Communities, recently published by Berghahn Press. Over 100 Vassar students contributed to the fieldwork for this book, which was supported by Vassar research grants, the Ford Scholars Program, and the Undergraduate Research Summer Institute (URSI).

Book cover with title the reads Taking Our Water for the City by April M. Beisaw.

Taking Our Water for the City explores how:

“Tap water enables the development of cities in locations with insufficient natural resources to support such populations. For the last 200 years, New York City has obtained water through a network of nineteen reservoirs and controlled lakes, some as far as 125-miles away. Engineering this water system required the demolition of rural communities, removal of cemeteries, and rerouting of roadways and waterways. The ruination is ongoing. This archaeological examination of the New York City watershed reveals the cultural costs of urban water systems. Urban water systems do more than reroute water from one place to another. At best, they redefine communities. At worst, they erase them.”

September 20, 2023
Grants in Action - Celebrating