Current Research Interests
Reversal of fortunes for ethnic Serbs in Western Slavonia, Croatia - ongoing study of the ethnic Serb community's attempt to forge a "Greater Serbia" out of portions of Croatia (Western Slavonia lies between Bosnia and Hungary in the northeastern arm of Croatia). Serb attempts to drive Croats out of Western Slavonia after the collapse of Yugoslavia in 1991 ultimately led to their own flight after Operation Flash liberated Western Slavonia in May, 1995. As a result, Western Slavonia is now largely devoid of its former Serb minority (thousands of ethnic Serbs are refugees in Bosnia and Serbia) and Croats displaced from other regions (Bosnia, Kosovo, Voivodina) have, in part, been resettled in their place. I first saw the region in June, 1999 and conducted field and archival work in 2001 and 2002 and I spent an amazing four months in Croatia during Spring Semester 2005 under the auspices of a Fulbright grant.  In summer 2011 I returned for a week to tie up some loose, document six years of subsequent change, gather 2011 census data, and visit friends and colleagues.  I have converted, analyzed the published data from the 2001 census and have produced a set of maps of the change in ethnic composition in Croatia from 1991 to 2001. Preliminary results of my research have been presented at several international academic conferences between 2001 and 2008.  I plan on presenting at the Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting, New York, NY in 2012. 


Presentation at the Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting, Los Angeles Wednesday, March 20, 2002
Click here to see a map of the study area

Agroecology in the lower Rappahannock River Valley - ongoing collection and analysis of data on agriculture in and around Essex County, Virginia during the Colonial Period. This is intended to fill gaps in the data I collected and used in my dissertation and to extend the scope of that project beyond the Colonial Period. The primary focus at present is documenting the shift toward mixed farming and corn-for-export that occurred late in the Eighteenth Century. Portions of this research were published in 2006 as “’The Same Sort of Seed in Different Earth’:  Tobacco Types and Their Regional Variation in Colonial Virginia” Historical Geography 34 (2006): 137-158 (available in PDF format by request) which is cited prominently in Lorena Walsh's seminal work Motives of Honor, Pleasure, & Profit: Plantation Management in the Colonial Chesapeake, 1607-1763 (which also includes base maps and thematic maps based on my originals).  In process is a re-evaluation of the swidden/shifting cultivation model in colonial Virginia and a monograph based on my research in Essex County.

Disappearance of National Socialist (Nazi) and Cold War landscapes in Central Europe - ongoing study of the attitude toward artifacts of the National Socialist Era and Cold War in Germany, the Czech Republic, and Hungary. Of particular interest:  the obliteration of Hitler's bunker in Berlin and his home and associated complex on the Obersalzberg (near Berchtesgaden in Bavaria); the dismantling of the Berlin Wall and Iron Curtain in Germany; and the present lack of commemoration of the Prague Spring uprising and the Velvet Revolution (most notably a search for the "pink tank") in Prague and the 1956 Hungarian uprising in Budapest. As a result of field work in 2002 and 2003, I have added sites associated with Hitler's boyhood in Austria and sites from the 1989 revolution in Timisoara, Romania to my list.  Return visits to significant sites in Germany and Austria now has expanded the treatment of sites associated with Adolph Hitler's pre-World War I years.  The central question: what do you do with histories that you'd rather forget and how do you commemorate "victories" over a system that the vast majority of the populace either enthusiastically or at least tacitly supported?  This past summer I spent several days along the Westwall (Siegfried Line) on the western German frontier on a pilot project to test the efficacy of using Google Earth to identify surviving Westwall fortifications via satellite imagery (it turns out it can do a pretty good job out in the open).


Dr. Hardin at the Iron Curtain, 1998 (l) and David Cerny's "Pink Tank", 1991 (r)


Reichs Chancellory site, Berlin, 1998.  From 1961 to 1989, this was "no man's land" between East and West Berlin.
The Chancellory building was at the right edge of the image on Voß-strasse; Hitler's bunker (Führerbunker) lies underneath a parking lot and play area (the latter, ironically, mostly used for walking dogs today) at the apartment complex in the center background of the image (behind the rubble pile, where the tall tree can be seen).  This entire site has been built over for government buildings and now is obscured.

Tracking Virginia and national election patterns - as I do every year there are state-wide and national elections, I map the governor's, lieutenant governor's, and attorney general's races, presidential primaries, presidential tracking polls, and the senatorial and presidential votes in Virginia and the US. This collection of computer-generated maps (MapInfo) is used for discussions in GEOG 201 - Elements of Geography and GEOG 353 - Geography of Virginia. All of these materials are posted on my website on the Longwood server: http://www.lwc.edu/staff/dhardin/dh.htm and http://www.lwc.edu/staff/dhardin/Politics.htm

 

   Updated August 16, 2011

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