Skip to Content
Archival photograph of a public swimming pool with a large group of men and women in swim caps.

Mellon Midday Dialogues

The Mellon Initiative in Landscape Studies at Dumbarton Oaks hosts a series of Midday Dialogues with invited scholars and landscape practitioners.

Midday Dialogues are not open to the public and, due to COVID-19 and remote fellowships, only current fellows are invited to attend. Should staff like to attend a specific Midday Dialogue, please reach out to and we will do our best to accommodate you based on numbers.



The Parti: Understanding African American Placemaking History and Design through Place Naming Practices

Monday, April 24th, 2023, 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m. in the Study | Andrea Roberts

Sovereign Curation: Placing Indigenous Knowledge Carriers at Center

Monday, February 13, 2023, 11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m. in the Study | Gabrielle Tayac

Teaching In Place: Southern Black Women’s Literary Geographies

Friday, February 3, 2023, 11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m. in the Study | Maia Butler

‘If People Were Like Flowers’: Anne Spencer’s Environmental Imagination 

Monday, December 5, 2022, 11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m. in the Study | Carlyn Ferrari

Black Ecologies and the Jim Crow Enclosure of the Tidewater

Friday, September 23, 2022, 11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m. in the Study | J.T. Roane

Past Topics


A World Unmapped: Terrains for Resistance, Courtesy of the Great Dismal Swamp, 1607-1863

Tuesday, April 19, 2022 | Dan Sayers

Building Indigenous Earthworks Today: Replicas or Reactivations?

January 13, 2022 | Chadwick Allen (Zoom)


Cotton Kingdom

April 22, 2021 | Sara Zewde (Zoom)

Approaching Material Ecology: Plows and the Landscape Environment in the Lives of Many Enslaved

March 18, 2021 | Tony Perry (Zoom)

Trace: Memory, History, Race, and the American Landscape

January 28, 2021 | Lauret Savoy (Zoom)


Water in the Lumbee World: Indigenous Rights, Environmental Justice, and the Reshaping of Home

December 3, 2020 | Ryan Emanuel (Zoom)

Architectural History as Migrant History: The Development of a Binational Construction Industry

November 19, 2020 | Sarah Lopez (Zoom)

Essential Businesses of Oak Bluffs: Black Heritage in the Highlands

October 22, 2020 | Fallon Aidoo (Zoom)

Landscape of Power: Mapping the Cultural Landscape at Great Zimbabwe through Narratives

October 6, 2020 | Ashton Sinamai (Zoom)

Colonial Sovereignty and the Unmaking of the Kanpur Memorial Well Monument

March 5, 2020 | Swati Chattopadhyay

Landscapes of Segregation: Race, Recreation and Resistance in Modern America

February 20, 2020 | Victoria W. Wolcott

The Freedom Colony Repertoire: Promising Approaches to Bridging and Bonding Social Capital between Urban and Rural Black Meccas

January 23, 2020 | Andrea R. Roberts

Bullets over the Borderlands

January 16, 2020 | Robert Alexander González


The Geologic Setting of Dumbarton Oaks

December 12, 2019 | Joe Marx

A Brief History of Water in the Ten Miles Square: 1790–1910

November 21, 2019 | David Wooden

Towards an Indigenous Landscape Ethic: Reflections on the Power of Place-Making through Indigenous Knowledge

November 7, 2019 | Scott Heyes

Mapping Inequalities

October 17, 2019 | LaDale Winling

Deurbanization and the Utopia of Dispersion

April 17, 2019 | Max Rohm

The Architecture of Leaves: Art and Atlas

March 13, 2019 | Douglas C. Daly and John D. Mitchell

Cotton Kingdom, Now

February 19, 2019 | Sara Zewde

Choreographing Topography

February 6, 2019 | Bradley Cantrell

Toward a History of the Bidonville/Karian as Urban Landscape

January 30, 2019 | Sheila Crane


Agro-Urban Environments and Implications for Resilience in Medieval Cambodia

November 14, 2018 | Sarah Klassen

To Feel at Home in the Wild: E. P. Meinecke’s Modern Autocampground

October 17, 2018 | Terence Young

The Zayandehrud River Speaks: Reading the Riverine Landscapes of Seventeenth-Century Isfahan

October 10, 2018 | Sahar Hosseini

Garden and Forest in Urban Space

September 19, 2018 | Toru Mitani

The Problem of Nature and Aesthetics in Planting Design

April 4, 2018 | Laurie Olin

Visions of an Unrealized Park: Chile’s Cerro San Cristóbal, 1915–1927

February 21, 2018 | Romy Hecht

Cultivating Communism: Soviet City Greening and Beautification, 1930s–1960s

February 14, 2018 | Maria Taylor

The Tropical Body

February 7, 2018 | Jacob Boswell

Today’s American Urban Spaces: New Roles and New Restrictions

January 31, 2018 | John King


The Emergence, Ecology and Future of Anthropogenic Biomes

November 29, 2017 | Erle Ellis

“What Would You Like to See on This Land?”: Building Equality in the Civil Rights Movement

October 25, 2017 | Brian Goldstein

The Cultural Politics of Urban Green Spaces: The Production and Reorganization of Istanbul's Parks and Gardens

October 4, 2017 | Basak Durgun

Confluences in Landscape Legibility 

September 27, 2017 | Todd Gilens

Urban Historic Preservation: The Imperative for Ethnic Diversity and Collective Stewardship

September 20, 2017 | Everett L. Fly

Places to Share Beauty and Fear

April 25, 2017 | Rebecca Krinke

Rus in Urbe: The Urban Landscape of Rome in the Age of the Grand Tour

April 18, 2017 | John Pinto

How a Bird's Eye View of the City Teaches Us about Urban Ecology

April 12, 2017 | Amanda Rodewald

Gardens for the Senses: The Influences of History and Family Values in My Gardens

March 28, 2017 | Javier Mariátegui

“A Great Functioning Whole”: Urban Design and Emergent Environmentalism in San Francisco’s Panhandle Freeway Debates, 1959–66

March 15, 2017 | Margot Lystra

“It’s Like Scotland, Minus the Weather”: An Ethnographic Account of Landscape in Bahrain

March 7, 2017 | Gareth Doherty

Middling Landscapes: Animating Life and Work on the Carquinez Strait

March 1, 2017 | Peter Ekman

The Topography of Wellness: Health and the American Urban Landscape

February 8, 2017 | Sara Carr

The Metropolitan Garden as a Sensorial Expression of Place in the Metropolitan Context

February 1, 2017 | Saskia de Wit


Shape the Earth: Landscape Architecture in the Anthropocene

November 29, 2016 | John Davis and Jeanne Haffner

Unsettled City: Migration, Race, and the Making of Seattle's Urban Landscape

November 22, 2016 | Megan Asaka

Landscape Entanglements. Aesthetic Practices in a Networked World

November 8, 2016 | Elizabeth Meyer

Landed Internationals: Planning Cultures in the Cold War Middle East

October 26, 2016 | Burak Erdim

Street Tree Stories: On the Politics of Nature in the City

October 19, 2016 | Sonja Dümpelmann

Dancing on the Grave of Industry: Wenders, Bausch & the Affective Re-performance of Environmental History

October 11, 2016 | Jeremy Foster

Making Post Rock: Material Research through Design

October 5, 2016 | Meredith Miller 

Producing Green Expertise: Place, Pedagogy and Sustainable Architecture in Mumbai

April 26, 2016 | Anne Rademacher

The Rise of Innovation Districts: The Intersection of Innovation and Quality Places

April 19, 2016 | Jennifer Vey

Vegetal City

April 5, 2016 | Gary Hilderbrand

Inventing Informality in Algiers and Casablanca

March 29, 2016 | Sheila Crane

Informal by Design: From Amerindian “Garden Cities” to Olympic Urbanism in Brazil

March 16, 2016 | Bruno Carvalho

The Nature of Urban Coastal Resiliency: Twentieth-Century Governance, Environmental Management, and Design

February 24, 2016 | Kara Schlichting

Talaab, Ghat & Canal Waterworks on the Indian Urban Landscape

February 24, 2016 | Alpa Nawre

Beyond the City: Metropolitan Environments and Urban Identification

February 2, 2016 | Mariana Mogilevich

Design Matters! (Even at the EPA)

January 20, 2016 | Clark Wilson

The Flood of Missed Opportunities: Florence, November 4, 1966

January 5, 2016 | Anatole Tchikine


Housing, Landscape, Environment

December 8, 2015 | Jeanne Haffner

Critical Work: Innovative Green Infrastructure Regulations Transforming DC

December 2, 2015 | David Wooden, Meredith Unchurch, and Rebecca Stack

Anticipating Future Urbanization in Nigeria’s Oil Sands Belt

November 10, 2015 | Christina Milos

Restoring Brown Places into Green Spaces Through Community Engagement: The Masonville Story

November 3, 2015 | Katrina Jones

The Topography of Post-Industrial Gentrification: Toxic Identities and Flooded Realities in Gowanus, Brooklyn

October 14, 2015 | Juan-Andres Leon

A History of Environmental Designs

September 29, 2015 | Peder Anker