Parsons Paris

Parsons Paris.

Joseph Heathcott

Joseph   Heathcott

Associate Professor of Urban Studies

Associate Professor of Urban Studies

Office Location:

Alvin Johnson/J.M. Kaplan Building
  • Email:

  • Professor Heathcott studies the metropolis and its diverse cultures, institutions, and environments within a comparative and global perspective. His main interest is in the public role of scholarship and teaching, and the civic engagement of students and teachers in the world around them. He is also a compulsive peripatetic, amateur archivist, and collector of LPs, post cards, old radios, books, and found objects.

    During the academic year 2010-2011, Professor Heathcott served as the U.S. Fulbright Distinguished Chair to the United Kingdom at the University of the Arts in London, and as a Senior Visiting Scholar at the London School of Economics. He has also been a visiting scholar at the University of Maastricht, the Catholic University of Lisbon, and the University of Vienna.  His articles, photographs, maps, drawings, and exhibits have appeared in a range of venues, from books and magazines, to exhibits, blogs, 'zines, and journals of opinion. His research on the social and design history of the infamous Pruitt-Igoe public housing project led to an exhibition at MIT titled Vertical City and contributed to the documentary film The Pruitt-Igoe Myth. HIs most recent photography exhibits include Post-Acropolis Metropolis, installed at the Town Hall Gallery in Stuttgart, Germany, and BQ Borderlands, installed at the Queens Museum of Art. 

    Professor Heathcott has been awarded fellowships from U.S. Fulbright, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Erasmus Institute, the Mellon Foundation, and the Brown Center for the Humanities. He has been invited to lecture, consult, and judge design reviews in a wide variety of venues both in the U.S. and internationally. He frequently volunteers his time with neighborhood groups and community organizations around issues of planning, preservation, and urban design. He served on the Board of Directors of the Center for Urban Pedagogy and the Urban History Association, and is currently the President-Elect of the Society for American City and Regional Planning History.

    Recent Publications:

    "A Library, A City." Meridian.  Winter 2014.

    "Skin flâneur."  100 Word Story.  Fall 2013. 

    "Morning in the Casbah, Marrakech, 2010."  34th Parallel (October 2013).

    "Loot."  Graphic appropriation.  Dark Matter 11 (Fall 2013).

    "The Promenade Plantée: Politics, Planning, and Urban Design in Post-Industrial Paris." Journal of Planning Education and Research (forthcoming 2013).

    Special issue of the Journal of the American Planning Association on the 75th Anniversary of Public Housing in the U.S. Guest editor and author (December 2012).

    "Heritage in the Dynamic City: The Politics and Practice of Conservation on the Swahili Coast." International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. (Fall 2012 on line, Winter 2013 in print).

    "Ephemeral City: Design and Civic Meaning at the 1904 World's Fair." Journal of Design History (published online 2012, in print 2013).

    "The Archival Uncanny: A Photograph, A Family Lacunae." Rhizomes 23. Special issue on 'Deleuze and Photography.' (March 2012).

    "Dust and Design: The Architecture of the Farm Security Administration Migrant Camps, 1937 - 1942." Special issue of Onsite Review on "Architecture and Dirt," (Fall 2011).

    "Six Miles from Wall Street." Collage of prepared found materials. Bosphorous Art Project Quarterly (Spring 2011).

    "One Night in Belleville, Paris, 2011." Photographic essay for XCP Streetnotes 19. Special issue on "The New Europe" (June 2011).

    "In the Nature of a Clinic: The Design of Early Public Housing." Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 70, 1 (March 2011).

    "Through a City, Darkly." Catalogue essay for In Light: An Exhibition of Photographs by Chris Wainwright. Amsterdam: Castrum Peregrini, 2011.

    "Surface Moments, Marrakech." Photographic essay for Camera Obscura 18 (March 2011).

    "One New Year's Eve in a Dying City." Antioch Review 69, 2 (Spring 2011).

    "Infrastructure 2.0: A Stimulus Package for All of Us." National Civic Review 98, 2 (Summer 2010).

    "Sacred to the Memory." Worked photograph. Bosphorous Art Project Quarterly (Winter 2010).

    Research Interests:
    Cities real and imagined; architectural history, theory, and criticism in the twentieth century; metropolitan and community studies; civic and public cultures; cities as living archives of creativity, urbanity, and design.

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