Megan Kate Nelson is a lecturer in History and Literature at Harvard University. She earned her PhD in American Studies at the University of Iowa in 2002, and has held tenure-track positions at Texas Tech University and California State University, Fullerton. She is the author of Ruin Nation: Destruction and the American Civil War (Georgia 2012) and Trembling Earth: A Cultural History of the Okefenokee Swamp (Georgia, 2005). Nelson is a contributor to the New York Times Disunion blog, and has written pieces on Civil War environmental and cultural history for the journals Common-place and The Civil War Monitor. At Harvard, she teaches a seminar in the history and literature of the American Civil War and a sophomore tutorial focusing on American urbanity. She also advises seniors writing theses in American cultural history. She lives in Lincoln, Massachusetts.