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Ana María León

Assistant Professor of Architecture
Assistant Professor of History of Art
Assistant Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures

Ana María León is an architect and a historian of objects, buildings, and landscapes. Her research, teaching, and practice examines the modernity of the Americas and its transcontinental flows, with particular focus on how different publics relate to each other through spatial practices and discourses of power and resistance.

The focus of her research is the intersection of modernity, politics, architecture and art, with emphasis in hemispheric connections across the Americas, as well as transnational networks across the Atlantic. Her upcoming book, Modernity for the Masses: Antonio Bonet's Dreams for Buenos Aires, examines the relationship between modern architecture housing projects, the populations they claim to serve, and the totalitarian states that seek to control them. A second book project, Counter-institutions: Producing Pedagogies of Freedom, turns to the potential of the museum, the prison, and the school, institutions traditionally associated with power, to produce counter-narratives to oppressive regimes. Additional work examines sites of dissensus, the spatial politics of resistance, and architecture’s complicities with capital, nationalism, and dispossession.

At the University of Michigan León holds appointments at the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts in the departments of History of Art and Romance Languages and Literatures, she also co-directs the Rackham Interdisciplinary Workshop the Decolonizing Pedagogies Workshop (DPW). She is affiliated with the Institute for Research on Women and Gender and the Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies. León’s courses examine transnational histories of art and architecture by discussing the intersection of political, economic, and cultural systems with the design and representation of buildings and landscapes. She encourages her students to think about how the ways in which we shape our environments both reveal and inform how we relate to one another. Several of her courses fulfill the Humanities and/or Race and Ethnicity requirements.

León is an active member of several collaborations laboring to broaden the reach of architectural history including the Settler Colonial City Project (SCCP, 2019—), Nuestro Norte es el Sur (2018—), and Detroit Resists (2016–2018). She is a support member of Dark Matter University (DMU, 2020—) and a former member and co-founder of the Feminist Art and Architecture Collaborative (FAAC, 2013–2020). She serves on the advisory boards of GAHTC, The Architecture Lobby, Thresholds, and Anales de Arquitectura, and is editor-at-large at The Avery Review. León holds a Ph.D. in the history, theory, and criticism of architecture from MIT, a Master in Design Studies with distinction from the Harvard GSD, a Master in Architecture from Georgia Tech, and an architecture diploma from the Universidad Católica de Santiago de Guayaquil.


Selected Articles

Plan Your Future
Housing, Community, and Economic Development
Land Use and Environmental Planning
Physical Planning and Design
Transportation Planning
Global and Comparative Planning