Sarah Lopez:"Architectural History as Migrant History"

Wednesday, May 18, 2022 5 – 6 pm

Northwestern University
40 Arts Circle Dr.
Evanston, IL 60201


WARNOCK LECTURE | Sarah Lopez:"Architectural History as Migrant History"

Architectural History as Migrant History tracks the development over the last fifty years of a binational construction industry that has emerged around the excavation (in Mexico), transportation, distribution, and installation (in the US) of cantera stone. Cantera literally means “quarry,” but the Spanish word is used in Mexico to describe a specific brittle rock used to build colonial churches and civic infrastructure. More recently, a network of Mexican quarrymen, stonemasons, homebuilders, architects, and businessmen have refined a cantera market that caters to a Mexican and Mexican American clientele in the American Southwest. Architectural History as Migrant History recasts Mexican construction-related labor by tracking the development of a meaningful and sophisticated industry that has reshaped design norms and building trades in two countries from the shadows of a formal American economy.


Sarah Lopez, a built environment historian and migration scholar, is an Associate Professor at the University of Texas at Austin. Lopez's 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 Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies, and the Center for Mexican American Studies. In 2016 Lopez was a Princeton Mellon fellow and she is currently a fellow at Dumbarton Oaks.

Presented by the Department of Art History at Northwestern University.