How can scholars design research questions and frame projects to broaden their field of inquiry and encompass disparate but related geographic terrains? Turning away from a single site of analysis and multiple sites within one nation state, Sarah Lopez’s seminar, as part of Toolkit for Today: In the Planetary Field, explores how flows/processes/practices such as remittances, the construction of knowledge, and migrating materials can be used as an analytic framework to research the built environment. Her book, The Remittance Landscape, asks how remittances are used to turn migrant aspirations into concrete and fired-brick realities. She argues that the remittance landscape—the built environment elements in rural Mexico that have been envisioned by migrants and erected with dollars—as well as the spaces in both Mexico and the U.S. defined by information flows, practices, and organizations gives rise to remitting as a way of life. In addition to the remittance landscape, she will ask broader questions about how architectural analysis combined with ethnographic methods can reveal migrant histories in relation to their built worlds.
Dr. Sarah Lopez, a built environment historian and migration scholar, is an Associate Professor at the University of Texas at Austin. Lopez’ book, The Remittance Landscape: The Spaces of Migration in Rural Mexico and Urban USA, was published by the University of Chicago Press in 2015 and won the 2017 Spiro Kostof Book Award from the Society of Architectural Historians. Lopez is a faculty affiliate with American Studies, the Amos Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice, the Latin American Institute, and the Center for Mexican American Studies. She researches and teaches at the intersections of migration, ordinary landscapes, urbanism, and spatial justice.
This seminar is free and open to the public. To register, click here.
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