Northwestern Events Calendar


Abstract Barrios - The Crises of Latinx Visibility in Cities | Book Discussion

When: Friday, February 5, 2021
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM Central

Where: Online

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Carlos Octavio Ballinas   (847) 467-3980

Group: The Latina and Latino Studies Program

Category: Academic


The Latina and Latino Studies Program at Northwestern University to host a book discussion on the recently published "Abstract Barrios, The Crises of Latinx Visibility in Cities."

The discussion will be with the book author: Johana Londono, Assistant Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Latin American, Caribbean & U.S. Latino Studies, at the Univerisity at Albany, SUNY. 

about the book: 

In Abstract Barrios Johana Londoño examines how Latinized urban landscapes are made palatable for white Americans. Such Latinized urban landscapes, she observes, especially appear when whites feel threatened by concentrations of Latinx populations, commonly known as barrios. Drawing on archival research, interviews, and visual analysis of barrio built environments, Londoño shows how over the past seventy years urban planners, architects, designers, policymakers, business owners, and other brokers took abstracted elements from barrio design—such as spatial layouts or bright colors—to safely “Latinize” cities and manage a long-standing urban crisis of Latinx belonging. The built environments that resulted ranged from idealized notions of authentic Puerto Rican culture in the interior design of New York City’s public housing in the 1950s, which sought to diminish concerns over Puerto Rican settlement, to the Fiesta Marketplace in downtown Santa Ana, California, built to counteract white flight in the 1980s. Ultimately, Londoño demonstrates that abstracted barrio culture and aesthetics sustain the economic and cultural viability of normalized, white, and middle-class urban spaces.

to participate:
The discussion will be capped at 20 participants. RSVP by sending an e-mail to As of this 1/15/2021, there are 2 spots available.

a copy of the book for all participants:
All participants will be given a copy of Prof. Londoño’s book, Abstract Barrios. Details for receiving the book will be provided once participation is confirmed.

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