Samuel T. Brandt

Samuel T. Brandt

PhD Candidate



Why does knowledge about places matter? Through what activities is that knowledge best acquired, and in what forms is it best disseminated? These fundamentally geographic questions drive how I read, write, teach, serve, and do fieldwork. As a means toward addressing the transcendent matter of geographic literacy, I study the places, broadly defined, where the urban meets the rural, where the domestic meets the foreign, and where wealth meets poverty.

Trained mainly in cultural and historical geography, my work focuses on Uruguay, Argentina, and Brazil in the twentieth century. Combining archival research, ethnographic observation, and interviews, my dissertation, More than a Home: Dwelling, Place, and Poverty in Rural Uruguay, examines the origins, evolution, and impact of Uruguay’s Movement for the Eradication of Unhealthy Rural Housing (MEVIR), a policy that has dramatically improved the quality and supply of housing in rural Uruguay since 1967.

My publications have appeared in leading geography journals, such as the Geographical Review, the Journal of Latin American Geography, and the AAG Review of Books. My undergraduate thesis on the planning of ring roads in post-World War II Britain was cited by the BBC. I have received two Fulbright awards to Uruguay and hold a B.A. in Geography with Honors from the University of Chicago.


M.A. Geography, The University of California, Los Angeles, 2019

Thesis: The Makings of Marginality: Land Use Intensification and the Diffusion of Rural Poverty in Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Uruguay

A.B. Geographical Studies with Honors, The University of Chicago, 2013

Thesis: Coming Full Circle: The Wolverhampton Ring Road and the Creation, Restriction and Regeneration of a City Centre, 1944-present


Historical-cultural geography, urban geography, geographic literacy, housing, Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil, travel writing, history of geography, environmental history

Selected Publications


Uruguay, The Little Country in the Middle: Journeys Between Superlative and Mundane (completed manuscript)

Peer-Reviewed Articles:

The Brazilian Scene: David Lowenthal, John Dos Passos, and the Importance of ‘Scene’ and Brazil to Geographic Inquiry”. Geographical Review. v. 113 n. 2 (February 2023), 171-190.

2nd Prize, 2022 Andrew Hill Clark Award, AAG Historical Geography Specialty Group

The ‘Pastoral City-State’: A Metaphor for the Geography of Uruguay”. Journal of Latin American Geography. v. 21 n. 1 (May 2022), 125-159.

Book Reviews and Review Essays:

AAG Review of Books, “Tunisia: An Arab Anomaly” (October 2021)

Historia Ambiental Latinoamericana y Caribeña (HALAC), “Hindrances of the Hinterland: Ranching in Robert Wilcox’s Mato Grosso” (December 2020)

Newspapers, Magazines, and Radio:

El País (Uruguay), “Túnez, un país espejo al otro lado del mundo” (November 2017)

Semanario Búsqueda, “Uruguay Según los Extranjeros” (February 2016)

The Register-Guard, “Pot, gay marriage barely make a stir in Uruguay” (July 2015)

Roads and Kingdoms, “The Raiders of Ruta 7” (July 2015)

Lvblcity, “Malmö: The Many Faces of the European City” (June 2015)

IBWM, “A cast of characters: Why la Celeste stands unique” (February 2015)

WBEZ, “How the Dan Ryan Changed the South Side” (June 2013)

Media Appearances:

Interview with 91.3 FM San Ramón (Uruguay) (April 2022)

El País (Uruguay), “Vino desde EE.UU. y Cerro Chato le hizo conocer otro Uruguay” (March 2019)

BBC, “Are these the worst ring roads in England” (April 2014)

Grants & Awards


2023 American Geographical Society Council Fellowship

2020 Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Grant

2020 Field Study Award, Journal of Latin American Geography

2018 Honorable Mention, NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program

2013-14 Fulbright U.S. Student

2013 NCGE and AAG Award for Excellence of Scholarship in Geography


2020 Graduate Research Travel Award, UCLA Latin American Institute

2020 Sandra Mabritto Fellowship, UCLA Geography Department

2019 Graduate Summer Research Mentorship, UCLA Graduate Division

2018-19 Graduate Research Mentorship, UCLA Graduate Division

2018 Travel Grant, UCLA Geography Department

The University of Chicago:

2013 Director’s Grant, Chicago Careers in Public and Social Service

2012 Undergraduate Travel Grant, UChicago Nicholson Center for British Studies

2012 Ann Natunewicz Travel Grant, UChicago Committee on Geographical Studies

Courses & Presentations

Conference Presentations:

European Rural History Organization Conference, Cluj-Napoca, Romania, September 2023

Symposium of the Latin American and Caribbean Society of Environmental History (SOLCHA), Morelia, Mexico, June 2023

American Society for Environmental History (ASEH) Environmental History Week, virtual, April 2023

American Association of Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting, Denver, CO, March 2023

Conference of Latin American Geographers, virtual, January 2023

SOLCHA Symposium, virtual, July 2021

ASEH Environmental History Week, virtual, April 2021

AAG Annual Meeting, virtual, April 2021

Congress of the Latin American Association of Rural Sociology, Montevideo, Uruguay, November 2018

International Congress of History, Regions, and Frontiers, Passo Fundo, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, October 2018

International Symposium of Environmental History and Migrations, Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil, October 2018

SOLCHA Postgraduate School, Anápolis, Goiás, Brazil, October 2017

Invited Talks:

Geography Department, Faculty of Sciences, Universidad de la República, Montevideo, Uruguay, June 2022

UCLA Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, virtual, May 2022

University of Northern Iowa Graduate Colloquium, virtual, April 2022

Presentation to Incoming Fulbright Grantees, Comisión Fulbright Uruguay, Montevideo, Uruguay, March 2022

Presentation to Incoming Fulbright Grantees, Comisión Fulbright Uruguay, Montevideo, Uruguay, March 2019

Environmental History Laboratory of the Cerrado, UniEVANGÉLICA, Anápolis, Goiás, Brazil, February 2019

Center for the Study of Rural Argentina, Universidad Nacional de Quilmes, Buenos Aires, Argentina, December 2018

Environmental History Laboratory, Universidade Federal da Fronteira Sul, Chapecó, Santa Catarina, Brazil, October 2018

UCLA Latin American Institute K-12 Workshop, Los Angeles, CA, USA, June 2018

Wolverhampton City Archives, Wolverhampton, UK, February 2014

Birmingham City University School of the Built Environment, Birmingham, UK, February 2014

Workshop Presentations:

Economic and Social History Program, Faculty of Social Sciences, Universidad de la República, Montevideo, Uruguay, May 2022

UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs Latin American Cities Working Group, virtual, May 2020

UCLA Early Modern Working Group, Los Angeles, CA, USA, November 2019

UCLA Latin American Institute Taller Nuestro Norte, Los Angeles, CA, USA, March 2018

UCLA Latin American Institute Center for Southern Cone Studies, Los Angeles, CA, USA, October 2016

University of Manchester Center for Urban Resilience and Energy, Manchester, UK, February 2014


PhD Committee:

Stephen A. Bell, Professor of Geography (Committee Chair)

John A. Agnew, Professor of Geography

Adam Moore, Professor of Geography

William R. Summerhill, Professor of History

MA Committee:

Stephen A. Bell, Professor of Geography (Committee Chair)

Judith A. Carney, Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus of Geography

César J. Ayala, Professor of Sociology