The Urban Landscape
The city is both a physical and conceptual construct in space and time. Urban landscapes are imbued with cultural meaning that reflect the values of the society that inhabit their spaces. The spatial order of a vibrant district in Tokyo, a sprawling suburb in Houston, or an informal slum in Mexico City each express the cultural, economic, and political forces operating at both the local and global scales. I find these landscapes and the processes that shape them fascinating and worth examining at a deeper level.
I am a contemporary cultural and urban geographer. My academic expertise is on space, place, and landscape through the lens of social practices. I evaluate social practices to elucidate cultural landscape patterns. And, I look at how social practices shape a city’s architecture and urban form. My work cuts across foodways, Latin American migration, communication geography (e.g. social media), landscape contestation, neoliberalism, cosmopolitanism and the right to the city. Although my academic writings are geographically conceptual, I am grounded in the fundamentals of urban and environmental design, and city planning.
CURRENT RESEARCH INTERESTS
My research focuses on the ways in which food practices activate and alter the built environment. For my doctoral work I investigated how the social practices of taco trucks morph the cultural contours of US cities. In so doing, I took a close look at how Mexican immigrants remake urban space from the bottom up. Currently, I have turned my attention to Latin America and Southern Europe. I am now examining Italian market spaces, and how aspects of tourism and neoliberalism are changing their social place in Italian cities. I am also interested in exploring how food consumption performances in Latin American cities affect agricultural processes as well as how this relationship affects the ways in which one experiences urban life. I am in the process of developing two future research projects. One in Mexico City, Mexico and the other in Bogotá, Colombia.
REGIONAL AREAS OF STUDY
United States, Latin America, and Southern Europe
REGIONAL CULINARY EXPERTISE
United States, Mexico, Spain, and Italy
Taste, Space, And The Urban Landscape:
Culinary Culture And The Making Of Cities.
JOURNAL ARTICLES AND BOOK CHAPTERS