Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Philosophy (Ph.D)



First Advisor

Steven Mentz

Second Advisor

Robert Fanuzzi

Third Advisor

Granville Ganter


This dissertation examines the unseen effects between human activity and nature, and more broadly the relationship between humans and a single local environment, Lake Hopatcong. My methodology is archival, drawing whenever possible on an array of sources to articulate a broad set of time periods and perspectives. This study utilizes foundational ecocritical texts as anchor points and referential lenses with which I examine the contextual and situational “truth” of each period. To get a comprehensive look, there are historical texts, scientific reports, travel journals, tourist materials and newspapers, along with archival materials at the Hagley Center in Wilmington, Delaware. Through these sources, we can see societal attitudes toward the lake in different time periods, such as how the lake went through several stages of utilization. The writings inform on issues and attitudes of those times and how each period is imagined in the consciousness of the people.