Race and Infrastructure in the Age of the Freeway
Eric Avila is professor of history and Chicana/o Studies at UCLA and holds a courtesy appointment in the Department of Urban Planning. He is a twentieth-century U.S. urban historian, whose research and teaching emphasizes race and ethnicity, cultural expression, and the built environment. He earned a B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in history from U.C. Berkeley and is the author of three books, including Popular Culture in the Age of White Flight: Fear and Fantasy in Suburban Los Angeles (California, 2004), The Folklore of the Freeway: Race and Revolt in the Modernist City (Minnesota, 2014), and American Cultural History: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford, 2018). He is currently beginning two new book projects, both focused on the social and cultural history of Los Angeles.
Avila is a national expert in the history of American culture and his research has fueled the national conversation about the historical relationship between race, urbanization and infrastructural development. He interviews frequently for national news outlets like the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, the New York Times, USA Today and he recently appeared in a four-part documentary series for CNN, The History of American Style.
Professor Avila's Athenaeum presentation is part of the "Race Across Disciplines" series which explores how different academic disciplines approach research, insights, and findings around race.