Brian Rosa is Assistant Professor of Urban Studies at Queens College and in the Earth and Environmental Sciences PhD Program at the CUNY Graduate Center. He is also a Junior Faculty Fellow with the Gittell Urban Studies Collective
at the Graduate Center. As an interdisciplinary urban researcher, he draws on his training as a city planner (MRP Cornell, 2009), artist, and human geographer. Through an examination of the changing built environments of cities, Rosa explores the interwoven social, cultural, political, and economic contexts of urban (re)development, particularly in the context of post-industrial urban spaces and sites of contested urban heritage.
His current research deals with the relationship between urban infrastructures, urban political economy, and the way “left-over” spaces of the city are re-appropriated. He is currently working on a book entitled The City Below: Infrastructural Landscapes and the Post-Industrial Imaginary in London and Manchester
, which explores the implications that transport infrastructures have on the production and perception of the urban built environment, explored through a case study of railway viaducts in Manchester and London, England. He is also co-editor of Deconstructing the High Line: Essays on Postindustrial Urbanism
(with Christoph Lindner, April 2017), which critically explores the spatial politics of the High Line in New York City.
In collaboration with Jaime Jover Báez, another strand of his research explores the contested urban heritage of the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba, Spain. Built for Muslim worship beginning in the eighth-century, and consecrated as a Catholic church in the thirteenth-century, this temple is protected as an UNESCO World Heritage Site as an outstanding example of the architectural legacy of the Kingdom of Al-Andalus, and is widely promoted as a symbol of the historical coexistence of Christians and Muslims. Contemporary conflicts, arising at the same time as Cordoba began promoting an economic development model based on cultural tourism, revolve around the appropriate restoration, ownership, management, and cultural meaning of the monument. This monument offers a paradigmatic case to examine the political economy and cultural politics of urban heritage and the importance of discourse in shaping political agendas around memory, identity, and ownership. The results of this research are two forthcoming articles, one in English and the other in Spanish.
Rosa’s research and teaching draw on a variety of qualitative methods, often incorporating audio-visual data. His research output overlaps with visual arts practice, for which he was awarded an Artist Fellowship with the Massachusetts Cultural Council in 2013. For more work on his creative practice, see his personal website at brianrosa.net
Prior to joining Queens College, he was a faculty member in the Urban and Community Studies program at the University of Connecticut, Storrs.