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Gretchen Heefner

College of Social Sciences and Humanities Associate Professor, History

Gretchen Heefner is an associate professor of history at Northeastern University. Her research focuses on the history of the U.S. in the world, with a focus on the Cold War, militarization, and the surprisingly intimate relations between national security regimes and the everyday. Heefner’s first book, The Missile Next Door: The Minuteman in the American Heartland (Harvard University Press, 2012), traces the deployment of nuclear missiles across the American West in the late 1950s and 1960s. She has consulted with the National Park Service on their Minuteman Missile Historic Site in South Dakota. The Missile Next Door was selected as a Choice Outstanding Academic title in 2013. Heefner’s work has recently appeared in Diplomatic History, Environmental History, and New Geographies. She is currently examining the historic relationship between the U.S. military and global environments with an eye towards understanding how the Department of Defense is planning for climate change and environmental catastrophes. Her work has most recently been supported by Harvard University’s Warren Center for American History and the American Philosophical Society.