Urban Studies

Urban Studies Collective Colloquium

The Urban Studies Collective, supported by the College of Arts and Letters, welcomes art historian Dr. Christina Crawford of Emory University and the architects from the Duvall/Decker firm in Jackson, Miss. to join faculty for a discussion of urban studies and design. Pre-circulated papers are available for download below to read in advance of the morning roundtable discussion with faculty and guests.

In the afternoon, Crawford and Duvall/Decker will give presentations on their work in the fields of urban studies and architecture. We welcome all interested students, faculty and members of the community to join us. The architects from Duvall/Decker are passionate about urban revitalization projects and Mississippi-based. Those with interest in boosting Hattiesburg's downtown and midtown areas should attend and learn more about their efforts in Jackson.

Christina Crawford

Christina Crawford, Emory UniversityDr. Christina Crawford is an assistant professor of art history at Emory University. Her research interests include modern and contemporary architecture and urbanism — history, theory, and design; socialist space, with an emphasis on the Soviet sphere; modern housing; the entanglement of economy, politics, and societal expectations in built form.

Her book, Chicago: Two Grids Between Lake and River (Redesigning Gridded Cities), co-authored with Joan Busquets, was published by Applied Research & Design in June, 2017).


Duvall & Decker

Housing in Jackson by Duvall DeckerRoy Decker and Anne Marie Duvall are a husband and wife team who have operated Duvall Decker Architects in Jackson Mississippi for over 20 years. They are interested in making impoverished areas of Jackson better, combining architecture and social activism to make a difference in a city plagued by pockets of blight and neglect. An article in the New York Times in February, 2017, "On A Design Mission in Mississippi", details their work on affordable housing and the unique approach they use to make communities stronger and better through caring and responsible architecture. 

"Duvall Decker Architects is dedicated to providing clients with buildings that meet their needs, budgets, and schedules and also surprise and delight their sensibilities with design quality. We strive to make buildings that people love and are proud of, buildings that endure in material and memory." Visit their website duvalldecker.com to see more of their work and their impressive list of awards, most recently the 2017 Emerging Voices Award from the Architectural League of New York.


Faculty Papers for Roundtable Discussion


A Wartime City: Saigon in the
Vietnam War


Heather Stur, History



The Urban Studies Collective

The Urban Studies Collective brings together scholars from different disciplines to begin a conversation about urban theory, development and history as it impacts American Studies generally and regional city space in particular. 

With a particular focus on twentieth- and twenty-first-century cities, our collective engage with scholarship from national and international theorists in order to apply their ideas to the local and particular. Through these discussions, we will approach the problem of the urban from historical, theoretical, performative and statistical methodologies, thereby enriching our disciplinary thinking and scholarship on this field. 

While the Collective prioritizes work on local and regional cities like New Orleans, Houston and Hattiesburg, we also take a global-historical view, engaging with macro-narratives of migration and immigration, architectural and spatial design, representational practices that range from the visual to the literary, and questions about how cities both large and small restrict access to the public sphere on the basis of race, class, sexuality and ethnicity.

For more information about the Urban Studies Collective, please contact Monika Gehlawat, Department of English.