Introducing the 2020-2021 Mellon Fellows

The Princeton Mellon Initiative is pleased to announce the appointment of Shoshana Goldstein, Sophie Hochhäusl, Adrián Lerner Patrón, and Halimat Somotan as Princeton Mellon Fellows for the 2020-2021 academic year.

The fellowships are made possible through the generous support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; the Princeton Environmental Institute; the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies; the M.S. Chadha Center for Global India; and the Princeton African Humanities Colloquium.  

In addition to their own research, each fellow will teach a course and contribute to programming related to the Initiative's focus on Cities on the Edge: Hemispheric Comparisons and Connections.


Shoshana Goldstein, Princeton Mellon / Princeton Institute for International & Regional Studies Fellow

Shoshana Goldstein’s research explores histories of urban planning, governance, and placemaking in Northern India, specifically questions surrounding the impacts of real estate development, public-private partnerships, environmental activism, and internal migration on rural-urban transitions. Her current project charts the complex planning history and social construction of place among migrant communities in Delhi’s satellite city, Gurgaon.

Goldstein holds a Ph.D. in city and regional planning from Cornell and an M.A. in international affairs from The New School, with a focus on the comparative urban development experiences of India and China. She has taught courses on migration, infrastructure and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in Cornell’s College of Architecture Art and Planning. Prior to earning her doctorate, Goldstein worked for the India China Institute and as a consultant for the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs and UNICEF.

Shoshana’s fellowship is made possible by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the M.S. Chadha Center for Global India under the Princeton Institute for International & Regional Studies.


Sophie Hochhäusl, Princeton Mellon Fellow in Architecture, Urbanism + the Humanities

Sophie Hochhäusl is an Assistant Professor for Architectural History and Theory at the University of Pennsylvania and an affiliated faculty member in the program in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies. Before joining the Weitzman School of Design she was the Frieda L. Miller Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University.

Hochhäusl is interested in discourse on collectivity, dissent, and difference in architecture. Her scholarly work centers on modern architecture and urban culture in Austria, Germany, and the United States with a focus on spatial histories of dissidence and resistance art, labor theory and environmental history, as well as intersectional feminism and gender studies. At Princeton, Sophie is working on two book projects: tThe interdisciplinary history and translation project Memories of the Resistance: Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky and the Architecture of Collective Dissidence, 1918–1989 and the monograph Housing Cooperative: Politics and Architecture in Vienna, 1904–1934.

Hochhäusl holds an M.Arch. from the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Cornell University in History of Architecture and Urbanism. Sophie’s fellowship is made possible by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.


Adrián Lerner Patrón, Princeton Mellon Fellow in Urbanism + the Environment

Adrián Lerner Patrón is a scholar of Latin American, environmental, and urban history, and of the history of science and technology. At Princeton, he will primarily work on his manuscript, Jungle Cities: The Urbanization of Amazonia, a comparative history of the largest cities of the Amazon rainforest: Manaus, Brazil, and Iquitos, Perú. Jungle Cities explores the long-term links between urban and environmental inequalities and political authoritarianism as the Amazon, a region often treated as a “wilderness,” became predominantly urban. He will also work on a series of articles based on his extensive research in local archives in the Brazilian and Perúvian Amazon, and on the global history of urban informal neighborhoods located in waterlogged areas.

Born and raised in Lima, Perú, Adrián completed his B.A. and Licenciatura at the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, and his M.A. and Ph.D. at Yale University, where he was also part of the first cohort of the Mellon Interdisciplinary Concentration in the Humanities, focused on “The Technologies of Knowledge.” He has taught courses about Latin America, environmental history, urban planning, and global history. In Fall 2020, Adrian will co-teach the Interdisciplinary Design Studio (ARC 205) with PEI associated faculty Mario Gandelsonas.

Adrián’s fellowship is made possible through the support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Princeton Environmental Institute.  


Halimat Somotan, Princeton Mellon / Princeton Institute for International & Regional Studies Fellow  

Halimat Somotan is a social historian, researching how urban dwellers influenced the politics of decolonization and the transformation of municipal institutions in Nigeria. She is completing her doctoral degree in African History from Columbia University.

Her dissertation “In the Wider Interests of Nigeria: Lagos and the Making of Federal Nigeria, 1941-76” examines how landlords, tenants, and female traders’ organizations contested planning policies in Lagos during and after Nigeria’s transition from colonial to independent rule. Drawing from letters to newspaper editors, petitions, municipal and planners’ correspondences, novels, Yoruba songs, and oral interviews, “In the Wider Interests of Nigeria” excavates the intellectual perspectives and political campaigns mounted by ordinary Lagosians to alter the state’s rent control, ‘slum clearance’ and anti-street trading laws. It argues that Lagosians’ competing interests influenced their decisions to support, reject, and request the amendment of the town planners’ policies. Lagosians’ participation in the remodeling of the city challenged and entrenched the state’s interests at the same time.

Somotan’s work has been supported by the CLIR-Mellon Fellowships for Dissertation Research in Original Sources and the University of Virginia’s Carter G. Woodson Institute for African and African-American Studies Predoctoral Fellowship, among others.

Halimat’s fellowship is made possible by the Princeton African Humanities Colloquium and the Princeton Institute for International & Regional Studies.