• Abstract Barrios: The Crises of Latina/o Visibility in Cities
    Johana Londoño
    Duke University Press, 2019
    Johana Londoño

Fiesta Marketplace, 2008, Santa Ana, CA. Photo: Johana Londoño.

Abstract Barrios critically examines several key moments of the twentieth century when architects, planners, business owners, and city officials tried to solve the threat Latina/o in-migration was thought to pose to the economic viability and cultural normativity of cities by negotiating disparaged barrio environments with mainstream design culture. Even though these urban actors, whom Londoño calls brokers, were largely sympathetic to barrio life and culture, the built environments they produced preferred Latina/o culture that contrasted the blight, disorder, racialized poverty, and violence associated with barrios. The book uses over 60 interviews, archival research, and visual analysis in multiple cities to take stock of the responses to the longue durée of crisis that has shaped Latina/o belonging to US cities. The book asks why, even when seen through sympathetic eyes, barrios were perceived as counterproductive to American urban imaginaries of economic success and professional design.

Johana Londoño is an assistant professor in the Department of Latin American, Caribbean, and US Latino Studies at the University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY). She holds a PhD and MPhil in American studies from New York University (NYU) and a BFA from The Cooper Union. She teaches courses that explore the role that race and ethnicity play in shaping US cities. Her published work appears in several edited volumes, such as Latino Urbanism (NYU Press 2012), and journals including American Quarterly and Social Semiotics. Her research has benefitted from fellowships at the Ford Foundation, Smithsonian Latino Museum Studies Program, NYU, and Northeast Consortium for Faculty Diversity at Northeastern University. More recently, she was an inaugural fellow of the Princeton-Mellon Initiative in Architecture, Urbanism, and Humanities (2014–15). She is currently completing her book manuscript while on a Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship (2017–18).