Lisa Goff joined the University of Virginia's American Studies faculty in the fall of 2012 and has a joint appointment with the Department of English. A cultural historian who studies the American landscape, she teaches classes in cultural landscapes, public history, theories and methods of American Studies, the history of journalism, and gender and social media. She recently launched a new digital history project, Take Back the Archive, dedicated to the history of sexual violence at the university. She is also director of the Institute for Public History, which places students in paid internships at museums, archives, and historic sites in central Virginia.
Her first book, Shantytown, USA: Forgotten Landscapes of the Working Poor, will be published in April 2016 by Harvard University Press. The book argues that shantytowns constitute an alternative vision of American urban space between 1820 and 1940, and that conflicts over shantytowns as places and symbols of working-poor culture were an essential element in the formation of twentieth-century class difference in the United States. She is currently working on a second book project, which examines restoration as a theoretical concept and a practical application that spans disciplines, geographies, and centuries.