Assistant Professor

Sarah Lopez is an architectural and urban historian, as well as a migration scholar. Her current research focuses on the impact of migrant remittances—dollars earned in the U.S. and sent to families and communities in Mexico—on the architecture and landscape of rural Mexico and urban USA. By approaching architectural history within the context of migration, Lopez examines multiple sites across international borders, arguing that the spatial and built environment histories of discrete places simultaneously shape both. Her dissertation on this topic will be published as a book entitled, The Remittance Landscape: The Spaces of Migration in Rural Mexico and Urban USA by the University of Chicago Press.
Broadly speaking, she teaches about U.S. cultural landscapes, the interface between migration and architecture, and the use of interdisciplinary methods to study space and society. Specifically, she combines ethnographic and archival research with analysis of buildings and landscapes. She is currently a board member of the Vernacular Architecture Forum.


  • B.A., University of California, Berkeley, 2001
  • M.S., University of California, Berkeley, 2006
  • Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 2011
photo of Sarah Lopez
  • U.S. and Mexican cultural landscapes
  • vernacular architecture
  • Latin American remittance development
  • U.S. nineteenth and twentieth-century built environment history
  • multidisciplinary methods for architectural historians
SUT 2.118
(512) 471-7164