Ph.D., University of Georgia, 2017

M.A., Western Carolina University, 2012

B.S., Georgia Institute of Technology, 2003



Luke Manget's research focuses on how the interaction between nature and culture has shaped the history of the American South, specifically the southern Appalachian Mountains. His dissertation examines the rise and decline of the botanical drug trade in the southern mountains.  It illustrates how Appalachia's biodiversity, the commons culture of its residents, and the entrepreneurial imagination of its merchants turned the region into the epicenter for the trade in medicinal plants indigenous to North America. This particular interaction of markets, local culture, and ecology channeled environmental and cultural change in different directions.  Luke's scholarship has been published in Environmental History, Appalachian Journal, and Ohio Valley History.  His current project examines the evolution of common rights in the southern countryside, how they shaped class, race, and gender relations, and how and why they were curtailed and renegotiated in the post-Civil-War era.



U.S. History since 1865

Rhetoric and Writing in History



Outstanding Teaching Award, University of Georgia Graduate School, 2017

Residential Fellowship, Winterthur Museum, Gardens, and Library, Winterthur, DE, 2015-2016

Exploratory Research Grant, Hagley Museum, Wilmington, DE, 2016

Graduate Research Award, Willson Center, University of Georgia, 2015-2016

Archie K. Davis Fellowship, North Caroliniana Society, 2014

Amanda and Greg Gregory Fellowship, UGA History Department, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2017


Publication Highlights

“Ginseng, China, and the Transformation of the Ohio Valley, 1783-1840," Ohio Valley History (forthcoming, fall 2017).

“Community and the Commons: Fence Laws, Land, and Identity in Postbellum Appalachia," in Steven E. Nash and Bruce Stewart, eds., Southern Communities: Identity, Conflict, and Memory in the Nineteenth-Century American South (forthcoming, spring 2018).

“Nature's Emporium: The Botanical Drug Trade and the Commons Tradition in Southern Appalachia," Environmental History, Vol. 21, No. 4 (October 2016), 660-687.

“Sanging in the Mountains: The Ginseng Economy in the Southern Appalachians, 1865-1900," Appalachian Journal, Vol. 40, Nos 1-2 (Fall 2012/Winter 2013), 28-55. 

“Backcountry Loyalty: How a Forged Letter Turned the Tide of the American Revolution in the South," Tuckasegee Valley Historical Review, Vol. 23 (spring 2012), 78-101.


Conference & Presentation Highlights

“Galax and the Commodification of Appalachianness," Agricultural History Society Annual Meeting, Grand Rapids, MI, June 8-10, 2017.

“An Uncommon Commodity: The Triumph of Ginseng Cultivation in the United States, 1890-1920," American Society of Environmental Historians Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL, March 29-April 2, 2016.

“Of Humans and Mountains: Commons and Conservation in Southern Appalachia," Invited lecture to the Institute for Georgia Environmental Leadership, Amicalola State Park, Georgia, Nov 2, 2016.

“Taming Ginseng: Exploring the Meanings of Plant Domestication," Southern Forum for Agricultural, Rural, and Environmental History, Birmingham, AL, April 2016.

“Environmental History: Possibilities and New Direction," Roundtable Participant, Appalachian Studies Association Annual Meeting, Shepherdstown, WV, March 2016.

“Root Diggers and Herb Gatherers: How Wild Plants Shaped post-Civil War Appalachian Society," Invited lecture, Liston B. Ramsey Center for Regional Studies, Mars Hill University, September 15, 2015.

“Nature's Emporium: The Botanical Drug Trade and the Commons Tradition in Southern Appalachia," Workshop for the History of Environment, Agriculture, Technology, and Science, University of Colorado-Boulder, October 2-4, 2015.

“The Gathering Commons and Enclosure in Nineteenth-Century Appalachia," Agricultural History Society Annual Meeting, Lexington, KY, June 2015.

“Marketing the Mountain Commons: Environment, Globalization, and Culture in Southern Appalachia, 1850-1917," Society of Appalachian Historians, Berea, Kentucky, May 2014.

“Hugh MacRae and the Idea of Farm City: Race, Class, and Conservation in the New South, 1905-1934," Southern Forum on Agricultural, Rural, and Environmental History, Converse College, Spartanburg, SC. April 2013.



American Historical Association

Southern Historical Association

American Society of Environmental Historians

Agricultural History Society

Society of Appalachian Historians

Appalachian Studies Association