Sonja Dümpelmann joined the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania’s Stuart Weitzman School of Design in July 2019.
Dümpelmann’s research and writing sit squarely within the environmental and urban humanities and focus on nineteenth- and twentieth-century urban environments in the Western world. Of special importance to her work are the relationships between the inside and the outside, i.e. the relationships between architecture and landscape, center and periphery, theory and practice; those in power and those subjected to that power; intent and contingency; and the relationships between social and political processes and landscape transformation.
Dümpelmann is the author of Seeing Trees: A History of Street Trees in New York City and Berlin (Yale University Press, 2019; 2019 John Brinckerhoff Jackson Book Prize), Flights of Imagination: Aviation, Landscape, Design (University of Virginia Press, 2014; 2015 John Brinkerhoff Jackson Book Prize), and of a book on the Italian landscape architect Maria Teresa Parpagliolo Shephard (VDG Weimar, 2004). Her edited volumes include Airport Landscape: Urban Ecologies in the Aerial Age (together with Charles Waldheim; Harvard GSD, 2016), Women, Modernity, and Landscape Architecture (together with John Beardsley; Routledge, 2015), A Cultural History of Gardens in the Age of Empire (Bloomsbury, 2013), Greening the City: Urban Landscapes in the Twentieth Century (together with Dorothee Brantz; University of Virginia Press, 2011), and Pückler and America (German Historical Institute Washington DC, 2007). Dümpelmann has guest-edited special journal issues and has published numerous book chapters, and articles in scholarly and professional journals, including Journal of Urban History, Landscape Journal, Landscape Research, Planning Perspectives, Studies in the History of Gardens and Designed Landscapes, Stadtbauwelt, Stadt und Grün, Die Gartenkunst, Journal of Landscape Architecture, and Landscript.