Parker Abt

Wolf Humanities Center Undergraduate Fellow

20182019 Forum on Stuff

Parker Abt

Executive Board, Wolf Undergraduate Humanities Forum


CAS, 2019

Parker is a senior majoring in History. His primary academic interest is the intersection of American legal and economic history. His historical research has been published in the Gettysburg Historical Journal, The Michigan Journal of History, and others.  Working with the American Enterprise Institute and Penn’s Andrea Mitchell Center for the Study of Democracy, Parker has authored op-eds on public policy with national media organizations. In his free time, Parker likes to watch ice hockey and record rock music.

Third World America: The Drive to Own a Home in the Colonias of Hidalgo County, Texas

Colonias are unincorporated, impoverished communities near the USMexico border where homes lack access to potable water, electricity, sewage, or drainage. Particularly during the 1960s-80s, poor Americans in Hidalgo County faced predatory land developers, an absent government, and atrocious living conditions, yet they strove to have a plot of land they could call their own. Colonia residents felt that by owning their land outright, they owned by proxy water lines and other services that the government should provide to all homeowners. This thesis will use oral histories of these residents, property records, and minutes from government meetings to document their determination to own a home and then fight to receive the services that should have been theirs from the start.