Architectural History as Migrant History | Spring 2022 Warnock Lecture: Block Museum - Northwestern University
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Architectural History as Migrant History | Spring 2022 Warnock Lecture

photo of a carver standing with two sculptures of Christian religious figures
Carver, Escallerias, San Luis Potosí. Photo by Sarah Lopez.
5:00 PM-6:30 PM

Event Details

Date & Time:

Wed May 18, 2022
5:00 PM-6:30 PM


The Block Museum of Art
40 Arts Circle Drive
Evanston, IL 60208


Open to the public


"Architectural History as Migrant History:  The Development of a Binational Construction Industry from Below" with Sarah Lopez | Spring 2022 Warnock Lecture 

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.

Presented by the Department of Art History at Northwestern University.

 About the speaker:

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.

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