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Research Expertise and Interest
My overarching interest is in cultural landscape studies—that is, the history, form, and meaning of ordinary built environments, particularly in the United States. I study the ways in which social groups have used space (as buildings, rooms, street grids, fields, or yards) to articulate social relations and to derive cultural meaning.
I have focused my work on:
- Vernacular urban architecture such as machine shops, neighborhoods of workers' cottages, and suburban tract houses.
- Landscapes of socially and politically disenfranchised people, places such as single-room housing for single adults, migrant workers, and the elderly.
- Ways in which social theory (particularly practice theory and the work of Peirre Bourdieu) can be quietly used to illuminate cultural landscape questions.
- The application of built-environment history to design and public policy.