Vincent H. Malmström
Professor Emeritus of Geography
Author’s Prologue: Most of the papers which are found here have already appeared in print, albeit in a great variety of different venues; hence, the rationale for collecting them under “one cover”. They represent the output of over half a century, beginning with a series of newspaper articles written when I was a Fulbright student in Norway in 1950. They do not include any of the books I have written, most of which are accessible through the Library catalogue. Not surprisingly, the focus of these papers has changed through time as my professional interests have expanded into other areas of inquiry, so I have attempted to assemble them in both a temporal and regional context. Thus, most of my earliest research was done in Europe, especially within Norden , so papers from this “era” are found in Part 1. Part 2 represents a briefer middle period when topics such as Viking contacts with the New World, migration from New England, and computer cartography captured my attention. Finally, in Part 3, I have assembled the bulk of my writings on Mesoamerica, where most of my professional energies have been concentrated over the last quarter century.
Naturally, because these papers cover such a broad spectrum of time and space, it stands to reason that their character and quality are relatively “uneven”. Some are light, journalistic pieces, a couple are radio scripts, and at least one is a bit of “investigative reporting”. Because several of my research papers on Mesoamerica have so seriously challenged the “establishment view” on the beginnings of civilization in that part of the world, they have become a source of on-going controversy. Even so, views and hypotheses that the author may have strenuously held at earlier stages in his career have necessarily been abandoned as new evidence has come tosssss light. Discovery, re-interpretation, and understanding have been for me the cherished by-products of a varied and exciting career of teaching. Hopefully, somewhere among these papers, a would-be reader will find something to interest her/him as well.