Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies | Human Geography
I am an urban and cultural geographer and a Latin Americanist with long-standing interests in the political, economic, and socio-spatial processes of inequality, marginalization and contestation in the urban landscapes of Latin America and the U.S. My professional training, experiences and research are inherently interdisciplinary and broadly grounded in qualitative approaches, which include ethnographic and participatory methods. My research interests and objectives are part of current debates on the urban and social consequences of globalization, urban development and gentrification. I focus on the social and spatial significance of housing, home and neighborhood infrastructures in the urban landscape. My work rests at the microscale and examines the emotional and material impacts of housing precarity, and the threat of eviction and displacement on immigrant and traditionally marginalized communities. I focus on livelihood strategies that individuals and communities develop to counteract the often-negative impacts of neoliberal processes on their lives, and how these practices and forms of resistance provide alternative models for making neighborhoods, communities and cities more inclusive and sustainable in the long-term. Currently, I am engaged in a project that focuses on urban redevelopment and its impacts on community cohesion, displacement and access to infrastructure and resources in a public housing community. My research interests also include historical and institutional practices and impacts of racial violence and inequality in the United States, Latin America and the World. I draw on critical race theory, black geographies and settler colonialism to examine racial and class-based violence and socio-spatial organization caused by white supremacist ideology and institutions that continue to impact how ethnic and racialized communities and individuals access spaces, opportunities, education and resources.
I have taught at the University level since 2001 in settings that include small liberal arts college courses and large, lecture-oriented courses in Austin, Texas, Ann Arbor, Michigan and Knoxville, Tennessee. These experiences have allowed me to compare and reflect on the style and objectives of different pedagogies and learning environments and to diversify my teaching strategies. I am interested in providing my students a rigorous and profound educational experience that takes into consideration the geographical and cultural context of my students. This means providing fact-based knowledge and data that is grounded in research and logical arguments, providing tools and building students’ confidence so that they are able to think critically and autonomously, develop mature relationships with their professors and peers, and to recognize and consider the complexities and contradictions of life and the world.
Through my teaching and research, I am professionally and personally committed to equity and social justice, as well as to promoting difference, and to the inclusion of historically and currently marginalized voices, people and experiences. Through my work, I try to challenge systemic discrimination, racism and exclusion inherent in traditions of higher education and all parts of society. While diversity work is never done, I strive to create a world that is more diverse, equal and socially just for all.
Recent and selected publications
- Muñoz, Solange. 2021. Who They Have Become: Peruvian Migrants and Memories of Home, Motherhood and Violence. Gender, Place and Culture. Published online February 27, 2021. DOI:10.1080/0966369X.2021.1882953
- Muñoz, Solange. 2020. US Group 1989: How a High School Program to Fight Racism and Promote Diversity Marked a Generation. Geographical Review. Published online May 26, 2020. DOI: 10.1080/00167428.2020.1759064
- Derek Alderman, Rodrigo Narro Perez, LaToya E. Eaves, Phil Klein & Solange Muñoz. 2019. Reflections on operationalizing an anti-racism pedagogy: teaching as regional storytelling. Journal of Geography in Higher Education. Published online September 2019. DOI: 10.1080/03098265.2019.1661367
- Muñoz, Solange. 2019. Urban Precarity and Home: There is No “Right to the City”. Annals of the American Association of Geographers, 108(2), 370-379. DOI: 10.1080/24694452.2017.1392284
Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin