University of New Mexico Associate Professor and Associate Chair of History A. K. Sandoval-Strausz will spend the 2015-16 academic year at Princeton University as a Distinguished Fellow in the Princeton-Mellon Initiative in Architecture, Urbanism, and the Humanities.
The fellowship will allow Sandoval-Strausz to confer with other urban scholars as he works on his current book project, Latino Landscapes: A Transnational History of Urban America since 1950, which details how immigrants and migrants from Latin America revitalized scores of city neighborhoods in the United States.
The Princeton-Mellon Initiative is a three-year interdisciplinary program that seeks to develop a more dynamic and nuanced understanding of urban issues. The initiative recognizes that urbanization is not simply a global phenomenon of physical and cultural restructuring, but that it has also become a spatial effect of networks of migration, finance and communication that characterize contemporary life.
An increasing awareness of the effects of urban growth means that the city needs to be understood within a larger context, making urbanism a fruitful research topic and a rich teaching vehicle across a wide range of fields.
Latino Landscapes involves a larger-scale application of the basic approach of Hotel: An American History: the idea that human beings reveal themselves most clearly through their built environment, and that people’s homes, neighborhoods, places of work and play, and use of public space must be taken as seriously as textual sources. The logic behind Latino Landscapes is that to understand modern U.S. cities, we must begin by analyzing the architecture and spatial practices of people who have moved into cities throughout the Americas.
Sandoval-Strausz has been teaching at UNM since 2001. He received his B.A. at Columbia and went on to the University of Chicago for his Ph.D. He teaches courses in urban landscapes, spatial theory, sociability, and immigration. His first book, Hotel: An American History (Yale University Press, 2007), was awarded the 2008 American Historical Association-Pacific Coast Branch Book Prize and was named a Best Book of 2007 by Library Journal.