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Worlding Heritage — Historic Urban Landscapes + Conservation Imaginaries


This ongoing line of inquiry examines the conservation imaginary as it relates to cities. Drawing on the Historic Urban Landscape approach adopted by UNESCO, work in this vein seeks to understand how people with varying interests and political power conceive, shape, and inhabit built heritage.  It begins from the premise that conservation is a future-making proposition, and that implicit in the practice of preserving artifacts is the selection of versions of the world to project forward through time. At stake are conflicts over narratives of the past, land uses in the present, and the right of people to imagine alternatives for the future. Thus far the results of this project have taken the form of articles, essays, and presentations (see below). The ultimate goal is to produce a book that explores the topic in detail, grounded in extensive fieldwork, archival research, and site analyses.

"Worlding Heritage: Historic Urban Landscapes and the Conservation Imaginary." Book manuscript in progress.


"Abandoned Buildings and Vacant Lots as a Heritage of Racial Capitalism in Post-Industrial Cities." Lecture for the Cities Programme, London School of Economics, September 2021.

"Race, Class, and Culture in New Orleans" (2020). Two teaching modules created for the Global Architectural History Teaching Collaborative: 

1. Global Trajectories, 1700-1850

2. Forging an American Metropolis, 1850-1940


"The Heritage of Water: Liquid Peril and Promise in Istanbul."  Presentation for lecture series The Istanbul Talks, sponsored by the Istanbul Planning Agency, December 2020.

"Place-Making and World-Seeking on the Swahili Coast"  (2019).  Five teaching modules created for the Global Architectural History Teaching Collaborative:

1. The Swahili Archipelago

2. Evolution of the Old Stone Towns

3. Reaching Out to the World: Dhows, Ports, and Waterfronts

4. Building the Town: Home, Shop, and Mosque

5. From Colonial Outpost to Post-Colonial Metropolis


"Slow Motion Katrina: The Heritage of Racial Capitalism." Lecture at the University of Antwerp, October 2019.


"Colonial Archetypes and Heritage Conservation in East Africa." Paper presented for a session at the World History Association Conference, San Juan, Puerto Rico, July 2019.


"What's In a Roofline? Architectural Memory in the Heart of Queens." Urban Omnibus: The Journal of the Architectural League of New York, December 2017.


"Official Magic: Mexico City and the Planning Imaginary." Paper presented for the Conference on Urban World-Making

University of Amsterdam, June 2017.


"The Third Life of Industrial Cities: The Case of Paris." Paper presented for a session at the European Architectural History Network, Turin, Italy, June 2017.

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