George and Ann RichardsCivil War Era Center

Colored Conventions
A. K. Sandoval-Strausz
A. K. Sandoval-Strausz

A. K. Sandoval-Strausz

Professor of History
303 Weaver Building, University Park , PA 16802


  • B.A. in History, Columbia University, 1992
  • M.A. in History, University of Chicago, 1997
  • Ph.D. in History, University of Chicago, 2002


A. K. Sandoval-Strausz was born in New York City to immigrant parents. He teaches courses in Latino studies, urban history, spatial theory, sociability, and immigration. He is a National Endowment for the Humanities Public Scholar and a Distinguished Lecturer of the Organization of American Historians.

He has received fellowships from Princeton University, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the New-York Historical Society, the Library Company of Philadelphia, the Massachusetts Historical Society, the Huntington Library, and the Harvard Business School.

His first book, Hotel: An American History (Yale University Press, 2007), won the American Historical Association-Pacific Coast Branch Book Award and was named a Best Book of 2007 by Library Journal. Click these links for book reviews and interviews featured in the New York TimesNational Public RadioThe Economist,, ReasonColumbiaCity Journal, the Glasgow Herald, The Age (Melbourne), Sotsial’nie i Gumanitarnie Nauk (Russian Federation), and Phoenix TV (China).

His current book project, Latino Landscapes, involves a larger-scale application of the epistemology of his first book: the idea that human beings reveal themselves most clearly through their built environment, and that people’s homes, neighborhoods, places of work and play, and use of public space must be taken as seriously as textual sources. The logic behind Latino Landscapes is that in order to understand modern U.S. cities, we must begin by analyzing the architecture and spatial practices of people who have moved into cities throughout the Americas.

Recent Publications

Barrio America: How Latino Immigrants Saved the American City (Basic Books, 2019).

Making Cities Global: The Transnational Turn in Urban History (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018), coedited with Nancy H. Kwak and with a foreword by Thomas J. Sugrue.

Migrantes, Negocios, and Infraestructura: Transnational Urban Revitalization in Chicago,” in Thomas J. Sugrue and Domenic Vitiello, eds., Immigration and Metropolitan Revitalization (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017).

“Latino Landscapes: Postwar Cities and the Transnational Origins of a New Urban America,” Journal of American History 101 (2014).

“Latino Vernaculars and the Emerging National Landscape,” Buildings & Landscapes: The Journal of the Vernacular Architecture Forum 20 (2013).

Awards and Service

2015 Arnold Hirsch Award for Best Article, Urban History Association (for “Latino Landscapes”)

2015 Catherine Bauer Wurster Prize for Best Article, Society for American City and Regional Planning History (for “Latino Landscapes”)

2015 Best Article Prize, Society of Architectural Historians, Southeast Chapter (for “Latino Landscapes”)

2013-2016 Distinguished Lecturer, Organization of American Historians

2013 Historian of the Year, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Historic Hotels of America Program

2010-2011 National Endowment for the Humanities Faculty Research Award

2008 American Historical Association-Pacific Coast Branch Book Award for Hotel: An American History

2004-2005 Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship, American Antiquarian Society (declined)

2001 Ignacio Martín-Baró Human Rights Essay Prize

1999-2000 University of Chicago William Rainey Harper Dissertation Fellowship

1999-2000 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Dissertation Fellowship (declined)

1999-2000 Huntington Library Research Fellowship

1999-2000 Massachusetts Historical Society Research Fellowship

1999-2000 New-York Historical Society Rosenwald Research Fellowship

1999-2000 Library Company of Philadelphia Research Fellowship

1999-2000 University of Chicago Von Holst Lectureship Prize

1998-1999 Harvard University Alfred D. Chandler, Jr. Traveling Fellowship

Research Interests:

United States Latino History, Urban History, Architectural and Cultural Landscape History, Legal History, History of Capitalism, Historical and Critical Geography

Areas of Specialization:

Latin America:
Twentieth Century U.S.: