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The Ones Who Inspire Us

Fernando Luiz Lara shares his reading recommendation for Hispanic Heritage Month
Fernando Luiz Lara

In the spirit of Hispanic Heritage Month, we’re highlighting some books, films and historical figures selected by several professors from schools and colleges across the university. We caught up with Fernando Luiz Lara, the R. G. Roessner Centennial Professor and director of the School of Architecture’s  Ph.D. program, to get some recommendations for our reading list during Hispanic Heritage Month and all year round.

Quick Facts

Home Country: Brazil
Favorite Cultural Tradition: Playing and watching soccer
Favorite Family Activity: Watching the Austin FC Team
Newly Published Book: “Spatial Concepts for Decolonizing the Americas” (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, ’21)
Highlighted Passage: “Decolonial thinking refers to the continued existence of multiple forms of knowledge, enabling us to address other ways of living and inhabiting the world, as well as other traditions of space production.” (Page 8).

Book Recommendation

I recommend reading “A History of Architecture and Urbanism in the Americas” by Clare Cardinal-Pett.  This is the only book that looks at the long history of the Americas—ten-thousand years ago to the present. It’s an amazing source for thinking about our territory. In my freshman signature course, I ask students to write about the places where they grew up 500 years ago. I want them to understand the history of our places—and that a significant portion of these histories are not discussed, celebrated or brought to the forefront. They think about the history of places since they were alive—not about the people who were here thousands of years ago— because that’s how they were taught in schools. This is a great way to help them understand part of their history is still here with us. Our landscapes, our geography, our buildings all carry meaning from a long time ago. Hispanic Heritage Month is a great time to explore these histories and this book is a great resource.