UNM Associate Professor of History A. K. Sandoval-Strausz awarded three scholarly prizes for his article “Latino Landscapes: Postwar Cities and the Transnational Origins of a New Urban America,” which was published last December in the Journal of American History.        

In the article, Sandoval-Strausz challenges the paradigm of the postwar decades as a period of urban crisis in which cities lost population and violent crime soared. He emphasizes the simultaneous countertrend of massive urbanization that characterized much of the world, especially Latin America, and explains how this process soon became a transnational one as it expanded to include U.S. cities.

As a result, Sandoval-Strausz contends, Latino immigrants and migrants revitalized U.S. cities by repopulating neighborhoods, restoring economic activity, and lowering crime in a way that helped bring the urban crisis to an end. This new narrative—what he calls “the next urban history”—puts Latinos to the center of one of the most hotly debated aspects of the nation’s history.           

The Urban History Association awarded Sandoval-Strausz the 2015 Arnold Hirsch Award for Best Article in a Scholarly Journal. “The insights of this essay,” noted the official commendation, “will provoke valuable new research in years to come, potentially shaping the field of urban history as fundamentally as Kenneth Jackson and Arnold Hirsch thirty years ago.”           

The article also won the 2015 Catherine Bauer Wurster Prize of the Society for American City and Regional Planning History which is awarded to the best scholarly article in the field written in the previous two years.           

“Latino Landscapes” was also the winner of the 2015 Article Prize given by the Society of Architectural Historians’ Southeast Chapter. The award committee specified that “the strength of this article is in its fine balance between broad historical argument, and local field research…Sandoval-Strausz has richly evoked the vitality of a single urban settlement…but his suggestive work echoes far beyond….This is a superb contribution to the best of scholarly publication in our region.”