College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Brandon Luedtke

Graduate Student
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“I am a PhD candidate studying environmental history and an IGERT C-CHANGE Fellow at the University of Kansas.  I study the impact non-petroleum oils had on American development in the 19th and 20th centuries.  While historians have scrutinized the extraction and consumption of petroleum, privileging this one type of oil snubs the remarkable array of plant and animal oils that have saturated American life.  My dissertation focuses on the American castor industry.  I study the growing of the plant, the pressing of oil from the seeds, and the use of that oil to loosen bowels, grease machinery, soften leather, and much, much more.

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