2015-16 Princeton-Mellon Fellows

Andrew K. Sandoval-Strausz, Joseph Heathcott, Pedro Ignacio Alonso, and Elsa Devienne


The Princeton-Mellon Initiative in Architecture, Urbanism, and the Humanities at Princeton University is pleased to announce the selection of four Princeton-Mellon Fellows for the 2015-2016 academic year.

Historian Andrew K. Sandoval-Strausz, interdisciplinary scholar Joseph Heathcott, architect Pedro Ignacio Alonso, and urban environmental historian Elsa Devienne are named recipients of the Princeton-Mellon Fellowship funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Andrew K. Sandoval-Strausz (link is external) will be joining the Princeton-Mellon Initiative from the University of New Mexico as a Distinguished Fellow for the 2015-2016 academic year. A social and cultural historian, Sandoval-Strausz’s first book, Hotel: An American History won several awards and placed him at the nexus of scholars working on culture and the built environment. His recent article, "Latino Landscapes: Postwar Cities and the Transnational Origins of a New Urban America,” is the first stage of a larger project that re-frames postwar American urban history around a transnational cities framework. Sandoval-Strausz will continue to pursue this research agenda while in residence at the Princeton Mellon Initiative.

Joining the Initiative in the Spring 2016 semester will be Distinguished Fellow Joseph Heathcott (link is external), Associate Professor of Urban Studies at the New School, where he teaches in the School for Public Engagement and Parsons School of Design. Heathcott is a distinctly interdisciplinary scholar whose work includes articles, photographs, maps, drawings, and exhibitions that examine the metropolis and its diverse cultures, institutions, and environments within a comparative and global perspective. Most prominently, his research on the social and design history of the infamous Pruitt-Igoe public housing project led to an exhibition at MIT titled Vertical City and to a book currently nearing completion with University of Chicago Press. Through a series of curated programs on human diversity in global cities, Heathcott seeks to build connections between the School of Architecture, the University community and beyond.

For the full 2015-16 academic year, the Princeton-Mellon Initiative welcomes Chilean architect and scholar Pedro Ignacio Alonso (link is external). Currently an Associate Professor of Architecture at the Universidad Católica de Chile, Alonso’s projects and scholarly works have won numerous awards including an ongoing research project titled, "Earthbound Visions: Received Cultures of Latin American Sky Observation,” which investigates the installation of NASA satellite tracking stations and Soviet telescopes in Latin American between 1955 and 1975. As a Princeton-Mellon Fellow, Alonso will engage in further research on architectural and technological exchanges between the U.S., Latin America and the Soviet Union during the Space Race era.

In addition, Elsa Devienne (link is external), a recent PhD graduate from the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), will join the Princeton-Mellon Initiative from Paris for the Spring semester. Devienne is currently working on a book project titled, Beaches in the City: A Social and Environmental History of Los Angeles’s Shoreline. Using a wide range of data, from engineering reports to popular literature, municipal archives, photographs, and urban planning documents, Devienne argues that the spectacular rise of Los Angeles in the postwar era hinged on the transformation of the city’s beaches from relatively untouched natural spaces into artificial playgrounds for the wealthy.

About the Princeton-Mellon Fellowship
The Princeton-Mellon Fellowship provides support for scholars, architects, artists, and other practitioners of exceptional promise to pursue individual projects related to humanities and the built environment. Funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and hosted by the Princeton University School of Architecture, the Princeton-Mellon Fellowship offers selected individuals residency for up to two semesters and the opportunity to take part in Princeton’s singular scholarly, teaching, and social community. The 2014-2015 class of Princeton-Mellon Fellows included architect and curator Fabrizio Gallanti, Latino and Caribbean Studies scholar Johana Londoño, architectural historian Mariana Mogilevich, and urban policy scholar Lilian Knorr