Karl Raitz, Professor Emeritus, Department of Geography, University of Kentucky, received his Ph.D. from the Department of Geography at the University of Minnesota in 1970. He served as a faculty member in the UK Geography Department from 1970 until his retirement in 2013. His research and teaching interests include historical geography and cultural studies with emphasis on American landscapes, visual and qualitative methods, and a regional focus on the United States, especially Appalachia, the Upland South, and the Middle West.
Raitz’s research has been supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Pioneer America Society, and other agencies. Awards include University of Minnesota Department of Geography Distinguished Alumni Award, 2004; the Pioneer America Society’s Henry H. Douglas Award for Research, Publication, and Editorial Excellence, for the two-volume work, The National Road and A Guide to the National Road (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996); the Society of Architectural Historians’ Antoinette Forrester Downing Award for excellence in architectural surveys over the period 1995–1996, also for The National Road and A Guide to the National Road; University of Kentucky College of Arts & Sciences Distinguished Professor Award, 1996–1997; Association of American Geographers Life Time Achievement Award, Southeast Division,1993; University of Kentucky College of Arts & Sciences Distinguished Teacher Award, 1993; the University of Kentucky Chancellor's Excellence in Teaching Award, 1991; the Provost’s Distinguished Service Professor Award, 2010, and the University of Kentucky Libraries Award for Intellectual Achievement, 2014.
Raitz’s professional service includes four terms as departmental chair from 1975 to 1980 and from 1996 to 2008. He has served as chair and member on numerous college and university committees, and committee and book review editorships for various professional organizations. Raitz also served as vice president and president of the Southeast Division of the Association of American Geographers in the 1980s and 1990s.