More on Abandonment in the Bakken

Over the last couple of years, I’ve been documenting the gradual abandonment of workforce housing across the Bakken oil patch. The reasons for abandonment of workforce housing are complex. Oil prices slipping below $40 triggered a slowdown in drilling in the region and drilling was the most workforce intensive part of the oil extraction. The…

Read More →

Failed Conclusions

I’ve been slogging my way through a very short article on the possible role of the North Dakota Man Camp Project in contributing to recent interest the archaeology of forced and undocumented migration. I set up the problem as one of impermanence and abundance. Undocumented and forced migrants often move from one impermanent camp to…

Read More →

Duluth, Two Harbors, and Lake Superior

If you read the news lately you might think that Grand Forks is a pretty depressing place. Heck, I’ve even argued that we have the world’s most depressing dog park. Last week, I spent a few days enjoying the spectacular hospitality of the history department at the University of Minnesota – Duluth. Duluth is a…

Read More →

A Weekend Walking and Talking Man Camps

I had an enormously rewarding and productive weekend walking around temporary workforce housing sites in the Bakken oil patch this weekend and talking to residents of Dunn County in Killdeer in the first our “Man Camp Dialogues”. As readers of the this blog know, I’ve been chomping at the bit to get out to the…

Read More →

Working on Workforce Housing in the Bakken

Over the last two weeks, I’ve been working on a major revision of our “Man Camp Article” that details the results of our first 2.5 years of work in the Bakken. Much of the revision is in direct response to critiques from three external reviewers and the editors at Historical Archaeology. The main thrust of…

Read More →

Abandonment in the Bakken

I think I’ve blogged on this before, but my most recent trip to the Bakken presented a landscape inscribed with abandonment. The abandoned towns of western North Dakota are well-known and celebrated. They speak to the tradition of temporary settlement in the North Dakota landscape.  One my favorite sites this trip was the Madson Grade.…

Read More →

Informal Practices and Space in the Bakken

This weekend I read another selection from the Kostis Kourelis Book Club: V. Mukhija and A. Loukaitou-Sideris eds., The Informal American City: Beyond Food Trucks and Day Labor. MIT 2014. The book is packed with astute observations on practices that shape the informal (as opposed to formal, regulated, and standardized) life of American cities. These…

Read More →