Date of Thesis
Honors Thesis (Bucknell Access Only)
Bachelor of Arts
place, Ellicott City, floods
In my thesis, I seek to understand how floods, or other disasters, are agents of place-making. I analyze how the 1972 flood caused by Tropical Storm Agnes aided in the creation of “Old” Ellicott City. I argue that the flood helped white, wealthy individuals to actualize their idealized vision of Ellicott City that centered on a nostalgic desire to regain the lost glory of the colonial mill town. This desire derived from and played into white upper-class notions of simple and small-town living. These ideals, and the landscape which they demanded, appealed to alienated suburbanites who longed to feel belonging and connectedness in a neoliberal world. The flood helped them actualize this vision through institutional and communal support in the wake of the successful Ellicott City Bicentennial Celebration, which coincided with the flood. Ultimately, I argue that, despite their destructive potential, floods create and perpetuate the social and symbolic reproduction of Ellicott City.
Maclean, Maureen, "Ellicott City: Disaster and Place" (2019). Honors Theses. 496.