Nicole Welk-Joerger is an interdisciplinary historian trained in art history, anthropology, and the history of science, technology, and medicine. She is currently an NEH-Hagley Fellow in Business, Culture, and Society and working on her first book project tentatively titled Rumen Nation: An Environmental History of the United States.
Welk-Joerger bridges her disciplines to tell stories about how capitalism has shaped human understandings of nonhuman life, including what constitutes “healthy” and “sustainable” relationships in agriculture. Her work and research highlights the connections that may exist between disparate ways of knowing, including shared desires for more equitable environmental futures. Welk-Joerger’s pursuits have been funded by numerous organizations, including the Scientific Instrument Society, the Hagley Museum and Library, and the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History.
An award-winning teacher, inclusivity and empathy foreground Welk-Joerger’s courses. Scholars in her classes complete rigorous research projects that aim to connect to the past while contextualizing current moments. Welk-Joerger uses her previous experiences as an art museum program coordinator, city government assistant, and farm hand to incorporate transferable skills into the design of her assignments, emphasizing the importance of adaptability with attention to detail in her assessments.