Mellon Forum // Structures of Power: Engineering Empire in the Circum-Caribbean

With Kristin Lee Hoganson and Elliott Sturtevant
Apr 10, 2024, 12:00 pm1:30 pm
Betts, Zoom, and Livestream Channel 7


Event Description

Mellon Forum on the Urban Environment: Transforming Land / Making Property

Structures of Power: Engineering Empire in the Circum-Caribbean

Kristin Lee Hoganson, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign


Elliott Sturtevant, Princeton-Mellon Fellow in Architecture, Urbanism, and the Humanities

This is a hybrid event. Attend in person at the School of Architecture, or register for the zoom webinar using the below link:

A view-only livestream is available on Media Central Channel 7:



In the early twentieth century, U.S. companies obtained an array of concessions to build hydraulic, power, and transportation systems across the Caribbean region, from Mexico to Venezuela and on islands such as Cuba and Hispaniola. The U.S. mining, plantation, forestry, and petroleum companies that operated in the area also shaped the built environment through private infrastructural systems, intended for wealth extraction, that became defacto public systems. To more fully grasp the expanding footprint of the United States in the region, that is, to understand the reach of U.S. power and its impact on the ground, we need to grasp the nature, politics, extent, and legacies of these infrastructural projects.


Special funding for this session is provided by the Humanities Council. 

The Spring 2024 Mellon Forum on the Urban Environment is kindly sponsored by the Mellon Foundation and the Princeton Center for Collaborative History, Departments of Art & Archaeology, English, and Politics, HMEI, PIIRS, SPIA, and the School of Architecture.

Mellon Forum events are free and open to the public. Lunch is provided while supplies last.