Angela Gugliotta, environmental historian and College lecturer, 1963–2010

Angela Gugliotta, a teacher of environmental history whose research challenged the categorical distinction between natural and social knowledge, died June 1 after a 10-year battle with breast cancer. She was 47.

Funeral services were held June 7 at St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Hyde Park.

Gugliotta served as lecturer in the College and research associate in the Humanities Division since 2002. Her teaching was primarily in Environmental Studies and the Humanities Core.

"Angela was a gifted scholar, a fine teacher and a dedicated mentor to our students," said Mark Lycett, director of the Program on the Global Environment that administers the Environmental Studies major in the College. "She was an incisive and creative voice in our program and her contributions are irreplaceable."

At the time of her death Gugliotta was working to revise her dissertation for publication. "'Hell with the Lid Taken Off:' A Cultural History of Air Pollution-Pittsburgh" was a broad-based exploration of "the meaning of smoke to the city" during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Michael Kremer, Gugliotta's husband and Professor in Philosophy and the College, plans to complete the revisions for the History of the Urban Environment Series published by the University of Pittsburgh Press.

Gugliotta received her BS in Mathematics from Carnegie-Mellon University, an MA in Philosophy from Johns Hopkins University and her MA and PhD in History from the University of Notre Dame.

When Gugliotta first moved to the University with Kremer, she quickly sought opportunities to teach, despite having recently been diagnosed with breast cancer.

"My first thought was that she would be ill-advised to take on college teaching as well," said Ted Steck, Professor Emeritus in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology, and founder of the Environmental Studies program. Instead, Gugliotta"plunged into her professorial duties with full force and great impact. The students loved her - she was so committed, knowledgeable, intellectually engaged, effective, caring and nice."

Gugliotta taught more than a dozen courses at Chicago after her appointment as lecturer in the College in 2002, including "Environment and the Body," "Ideas of Nature," "Environment and Environmentalism in American History," and "Environment and Technology in History."

John Boyer, the Martin A. Ryerson Distinguished Service Professor in History and Dean of the College, said, "Angela brought her deep knowledge of environmental history, science and policy to bear in her teaching, and in ways that her students always found positive and insightful and encouraging of individual opinion."

In addition to her courses, Gugliotta directed the theses for undergraduates majoring in Environmental Studies; History; History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Science and Medicine (HiPSS); and Law, Letters and Society.

"It was obvious from the first few classes I ever took with her that she was passionate about what she studied," said Greg Fahl, AB'10. "But what really set her apart both as a professor and person was her incredible warmth and compassion."

Gugliotta is survived by her husband; their children Lucia, Teresa and Roswitha Gugliotta-Kremer; and her mother, Gloria Gugliotta.

-Thomas Gaulkin

An extended version of this story appears on the website of the Program on the Global Environment: