Christopher Manganiello

Graduate Student Excellence-in-Research Award 2011

Christopher Manganiello, a recent doctoral graduate in history, researched and wrote his dissertation about water development in the American South. He is currently revising the dissertation for publication as a book, Southern Water, Southern Power. In it, he writes about the political, economic, and environmental history of water development, using the Savannah River as a case study.

Building on well-developed literature about western water development and southern economic history, Manganiello’s research suggests how important the manipulation of water has been to the modern history of the South. He shows how water was critical to the industrialization of the Piedmont — and how it intersected with the region’s unique racial and labor politics in quiet but critical ways. It discusses the battles over water resources and the famous effort to protect the Chattooga River as a Wild and Scenic River.

His research provides a timely reminder of how the South’s water development has been profoundly shaped, not just by flooding, but also by serious droughts.