Faculty Members


Associate Professor, History

Ari Kelman is an associate professor in the Department of History. He specializes in urban, environmental, and cultural history. His first book, A River and Its City: The Nature of Landscape in New Orleans, won the 2004 Abbott Lowell Cummings prize and was reprinted in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Professor Kelman is now writing a book about the struggle to memorialize the notorious Sand Creek Massacre, an event in which two regiments of Union cavalry slaughtered approximately 175 Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians, mostly women, children, and the elderly, at the end of the Civil War. Professor Kelman has received generous support from the National Endowment for the Humanities and UC Davis, among other institutions, in support of this project. His writing has appeared in a number of scholarly and popular journals, including Slate, The Christian Science Monitor, The Nation, The Times Literary Supplement, The Journal of American History, the Journal of Urban History, and many others.


Professor, English

Timothy Morton, Professor of Literature and the Environment, teaches literature and ecology, literary theory, and Romantic literature. He is the author of Ecology without Nature: Rethinking Environmental Aesthetics (Harvard, 2007), The Poetics of Spice (Cambridge, 2000), and Shelley and the Revolution in Taste (Cambridge, 1994). He is the editor of The Cambridge Companion to Shelley (2006), Cultures of Taste/Theories of Appetite (2004), and Radicalism in British Literary Culture, 1650-1830 (2002). He has published three volumes of writing about food from the Romantic period (Radical Food, 2000), and a textbook on Frankenstein (2002). Professor Morton has published about forty-five essays of ecocriticism, Romantic-period literary criticism, and food studies.


Assistant Professor, Environmental Design

Michael Rios joined the Landscape Architecture faculty in July 2007; previously, he held a joint faculty appointment in the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture at The Pennsylvania State University. Professor Rios teaches courses in human geography, urban design, and community development. His research interests focus on linking theoretical developments in political and social geography with contemporary public policy, professional practice, and citizen participation in the planning and design of public landscapes. He has published articles on these topics in the Journal of Architectural Education, the Journal of Park and Recreation Management, and the Journal of Urban Design, and book chapters in Good Deeds, Good Design: Community Service through Architecture (Princeton Architectural Press) and From the Studio to the Streets: Service Learning in Architecture and Planning (Stylus).


Professor, Art History

Simon Sadler is Professor of Architectural and Urban History and Director of the Program in Art History. His research concentrates on the urban, ideological and natural imperatives of modern and contemporary architecture. His publications include three books, Archigram: Architecture without Architecture (MIT Press, 2005), The Situationist City (MIT Press, 1998) and Non-Plan: Essays on Freedom, Participation and Change in Modern Architecture and Urbanism (edited with Jonathan Hughes; Architectural Press, 2000). His ongoing research focuses on radical ecological and globalizing trends in architecture since the 1960s of the sort, for instance, which gathered in California and the southwest around The Whole Earth Catalog (see “Drop City Revisited,” Journal of Architectural Education, vol. 58, no. 1, 2006, and a forthcoming paper in the Journal of Architectural Education, “An Architecture of the Whole”).


Associate Professor, American Studies

Julie Sze is an Associate Professor of American Studies and founding Director of the Environmental Justice Project of the John Muir Institute of the Environment. Professor Sze is a leading scholar of the culture and politics of environmental justice activism, urban environmentalism, social movements and community activism. She is the author of Noxious New York: The Racial Politics of Urban Health and Environmental Justice (MIT Press, 2007) and articles that address literature and the environment, environmental health, and social justice in journals such as American Quarterly, the International Journal of Feminist Politics, and Children, Youth and Environments and in a number of edited collections. In her capacity as Director of the Environmental Justice Project, Professor Sze has been involved in planning meetings, engaging with local communities, and working on several innovative collaborative and interdisciplinary projects across the social science, humanities and the sciences. The Environmental Justice Project is focused on encouraging and developing interdisciplinary research on environmental justice, with a particular focus on Environmental Justice in the Central Valley (http://ej.ucdavis.edu/).


Assistant Professor, History

Cecilia Tsu received her Ph.D. from Stanford University in 2006 and joined the History faculty as an Assistant Professor that year. Her research and teaching interests include Asian American history, race and ethnicity, immigration, California and the American West, gender, agricultural and rural history. She has a recent article, “‘Independent of the Unskilled Chinaman’: Race, Labor, and Family Farming in California’s Santa Clara Valley,” in Western Historical Quarterly (November 2006). Professor Tsu is currently working on a book manuscript titled “Asian Migration and the Making of Race, Gender, and Agriculture in the Santa Clara Valley, 1880-1940,” based on her dissertation, which won the W. Turrentine Jackson Dissertation Award for best dissertation on the history of the American West from the American Historical Association, Pacific Coast Branch, and the Gilbert C. Fite Dissertation Award for best dissertation on agricultural history from the Agricultural History Society.


Professor, History

Louis Warren is the W. Turrentine Jackson Professor of Western U.S. History. He teaches and writes about 20th century Western U.S. history: immigration, environmental issues and demographic impacts. A specialist in environmental history, Warren is an authority on the history of conflicts between hunting and animal rights, no-growth and slow-growth movements, and Buffalo Bill Cody’s legacy. His acclaimed book, Buffalo Bill’s America: William Cody and the Wild West Show (Alfred A. Knopf, 2005), has won numerous awards, including the 2007 Beveridge Prize from the American Historical Association, the Western Writers of America Spur Award in 2005 and the 2005 Great Plains Distinguished Book Prize. He also wrote The Hunter’s Game: Poachers and Conservationists in Twentieth-Century America (Yale University Press, 1997), which won the Western Heritage Award for Outstanding Non-fiction Book from the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center.


Associate Professor, English

Michael Ziser completed his Ph.D. at Harvard University and joined the English Department in 2003. His scholarly fields include American literature before the Civil War; American natural history and agricultural writing through the present day; and ecocritical theory. Professor Ziser’s most current research considers the envirocultural preconditions and consequences of agricultural production in the pre-industrial American colonies. Recent publications include extended profiles of early American naturalists Thomas Nuttall, Constantine Rafinesque, and Alexander Wilson (2005); a reconsideration of Walden’s mode (Nineteenth Century Prose, Fall 2004); an inquiry into very early American writing about tobacco (William and Mary Quarterly, Winter 2005); an article on Lacan, Poe, Audubon, and Zoosemiotics (Angelaki, Winter 2008); and a chapter on the literary dimensions of early New England apple culture (Early Modern Ecostudies, 2008).