US-Mexico Border, Comparative Urbanism, Geohumanities
Michael Dear is Professor Emeritus in the College of Environmental Design at UC Berkeley, and Honorary Professor in the Bartlett School of Planning at University College, London. His graduate education was at University College London and the University of Pennsylvania. Before coming to Berkeley in 2009, he worked for two decades at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
His most recent book, Why Walls Won’t Work: Repairing the US-Mexico Divide was awarded the Globe Prize for ‘Geography in the Public Interest’ from the Association of American Geographers. His latest edited volume, entitled Geohumanties: Art, History, Text at the Edge of Place focused on emerging transdisciplinary intersections among geography, environmental design and the humanities.
Michael was the founding editor of the scholarly journal Society and Space: Environment & Planning D, and is a leading exponent of the Los Angeles School of Urbanism. His book, The Postmodern Urban Condition, was chosen by CHOICE magazine as an “Outstanding Academic Title” of 2000.
Michael’s most recent curatorial venture was ‘Trazando la Línea: Pasado, Presente y Futuro de las Communidades Transfronterizas / Tracing the Line: Past, Present and Future in Cross-border Communities ’ at the Centro Estatal de las Artes in Mexicali, the state capital of Baja California, Mexico. He is a frequent contributor to exhibition catalogues for such major institutions as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), and most recently for ‘The US-Mexico Border: Place, Imagination and Possibility’ an exhibition that opened in September 2017 at LA’s Craft and Folk Art Museum.
He is the author/editor of fifteen books, and many scholarly essays. His work has been translated into many languages, and he has lectured in over twenty countries in four continents. He has also written widely for non-academic publications, including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, National Geographic en español, the Huffington Post, and Politico Magazine.
Michael has been a Guggenheim Fellowship holder, a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, a Fulbright Specialist, and Fellow at the Rockefeller Center in Bellagio, Italy. He has received the highest honors for creativity and excellence in research from several organizations, as well as numerous undergraduate teaching and graduate mentorship awards. In 2014, he was elected as a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales (his country of birth).
He has engaged in professional practice in Australia, Canada, Great Britain and the USA, including the preparation of amicus briefs for the US Supreme Court and the American Civil Liberties Union.
He is currently writing about representations of the US-Mexico border in film.
Why Walls Don't Work: Repairing the US-Mexico Divide
Oxford University Press, 2015 (revised paperback edition)
Why Walls Won't Work: An Interview with Michael Dear
YouTube, 22 January 2013
Mr. President, Tear Down This Wall
New York Times, 10 March 2013