University of Virginia
Dr. Andrea Roberts is Associate Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning and Co-Director of the Center for Cultural Landscapes at the University of Virginia. She is also the founder of The Texas Freedom Colonies Project, a research & social justice initiative documenting placemaking history and grassroots preservation practices in the African Diaspora. Her work reflects 12 years’ experience in alternative journalism, community and economic development, and a belief that creative storytelling makes marginalized groups’ epistemologies of endangered places visible and relevant to policymakers and practitioners. She deploys engaged ethnography, archival and action research, and digital humanities tools in her teaching and scholarship, which exists at the intersection of community development, preservation policy, and critical heritage studies. Her publications include articles on: participatory digital engagement in the International Journal of E-Planning Research; intersectionality for the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s website; rural Black women’s placemaking in The Journal of Planning History; performative and participatory preservation practice in Buildings and Landscapes, the Journal of the American Planning Association, and the Journal of Community Archaeology and Heritage; and Black Planning History in Planning Theory & Practice.
She is currently writing a book about Black historic preservation practice and recently co-directed with Thaisa Way a National Endowment for the Humanities-funded three-week intensive training for professors and graduate students on Black and Indigenous landscape histories. The Urban Affairs Association recently recognized her Texas Freedom Colony Atlas & Study, a statewide countermapping and urban humanities project, with the 2019 Marilyn J. Gittell Activist Scholar Honorable Mention Award. Dr. Roberts earned a PhD in community and regional planning at The University of Texas at Austin, holds an MA in government administration from the University of Pennsylvania, and a BA in political science from Vassar College.