On this episode, we talk with Melanie Newport. Melanie Newport is an assistant professor of History at the University of Connecticut at its Hartford campus. Originally hailing from Tulsa, OK and Tacoma, WA, she is currently working on a book called Community of the Condemned: Chicago and the Transformation of the American Jail. On today’s episode, Melanie shares stories about reading books as a child that allowed her to imagine herself into the past, from Little House on the Prairie to the American Girl series. While pursuing a career in History, Melanie had to rethink her reading. Specifically, how could she navigate reading disturbing accounts in her archival research into the history of Chicago’s jails, and simultaneously turn to books as an escape? From Little House on the Prairie to reading the archive, this is Melanie’s story.

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