Chocolate Cities and Vanilla Suburbs: Race, Space and American Culture After World War II
Synopsis: UCLA Professor Eric Avila describes how his scholarly interest in racial identity, urban space and cultural expression have shaped his research and writing thus far, and sketches the contours of his next research project–a broad investigation of postwar American culture, reinterpreted through the rise of the postwar urban region and its attendant disparities of race, class and gender. In Chocolate Cities and Vanilla Suburbs, Avila proposes a new interpretation of postwar American culture, moving away from standard Cold War narratives to explore how the structural transformation of urban life after World War II—highway construction, suburbanization, urban renewal, slum clearance, deindustrialization and white flight—engendered new discourses of identity, new imaginings of community, and new expressions of social conflict.
Eric Avila Eric Avila is Professor of History, Chicano Studies and Urban Planning at UCLA. He is author of Popular Culture in the Age of White Flight: Fear and Fantasy in Suburban Los Angeles (California, 2004) and The Folklore of the Freeway: Race and Revolt in the Modernist City (Minnesota, 2014