Pollyanna Rhee’s research and teaching focus on the history of the relationship between the built and natural environments and environmental thought, particularly in the United States. Her book project Natural Attachments: The Domestication of American Environmentalism, 1920-1970 presents a new history of the popular embrace of modern environmentalism by examining the role of ideas of home, gender, community, and social order in shaping physical landscapes, political and social priorities of urban inhabitants, and expectations about environmental quality. Her research has been supported by the American Philosophical Society, the American Society for Environmental History, Dumbarton Oaks, the Huntington Library, and the Society of Architectural Historians. She received a Ph.D. in History and Theory of Architecture from Columbia University.
From 2018-2020, Rhee was an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Environmental Humanities at the Illinois Program in Research in the Humanities (IPRH), based at the University of Illinois. In 2020-2021, she is faculty co-director, with Prof. Bob Morrissey (History) of the IPRH Research Cluster on environmental humanities.