Author Archives: Megan Black

About Megan Black

Megan Black is an associate professor of history at MIT, specializing in environmental history, the US and the world, and political economy. Her book, The Global Interior: Mineral Frontiers and American Power (Harvard University Press, 2018), explores the surprising role of the US Interior Department in pursuing minerals across seemingly disparate zones: in Indigenous lands, foreign nations, the oceans, and outer space. The book received four top prizes in history, including the Stuart L. Bernath Prize for international history. She previously taught at the London School of Economics.

Doc Savage Saves the World: A Pop Culture Origin Story for US Modernization and Development, 1933–1949

Abstract: This article contends that important scripts for US-led modernization were trademarked not by political and academic elites of the Cold War era, but rather by low-brow cultural producers of the New Deal period. It pinpoints key characterizations, motivations, plotlines, and settings associated with international development in the long-running pulp magazine series starring “Doc Savage” (1933–1949). Through historical analysis and close readings, the article offers a fresh account of how US audiences came to imagine technical assistance as a proper course for American power while Continue reading → Continue reading →