Amtrak has selected Korey Garibaldi, a History PhD candidate, as an inaugural writer-in-residence for 2014. Garibaldi and twenty-three other writers were selected from more than sixteen thousand applicants to ride the United States by rail and write on a subject of their choice.

During a five-day journey on the Empire Builder from Chicago to Portland and back, Garibaldi will work on his dissertation, "Knock on Any Door: The Rise and Fall of Integration in American Culture, 1919–1972," which he hopes to defend in 2015.

Garibaldi is no stranger to train travel. In his first year at Chicago, he took William Sewell's "History of Capitalism." One of the course readings was Wolfgang Schivelbusch’s The Railway Journey: The Industrialization of Time and Space in the Nineteenth Century. Schivelbusch described the railroad as "a revolutionary rupture with past forms of experience," and the course reading compelled Garibaldi to take his first Amtrak train from Chicago to Boston. He has also travelled trains in China, Finland, Japan, and Russia.

In a recent Hyde Park Herald article, Garibaldi said he is planning to write a book that will explore cultural, racial, and social issues related to train travel around the world and in the United States.

By Joanne M. Berens, MFA'