About Magdalena Novoa
Magdalena Novoa’s work focuses on the intersections of historic preservation and social justice, the politics of cultural heritage and memory, grassroots organizing, and alternative planning approaches in the Americas. She is particularly interested in how cultural heritage and planning principles are mobilized by various actors to integrate or segregate historically marginalized groups, as well as the challenges that arise from the changing and globalized landscapes of cities. Dr. Novoa combines ethnographic, archival, participatory, and arts-based methods to understand the tensions between local knowledges and formal heritage and planning approaches and its implications in citizenship constructions. Through her engaged scholarship in Chile, she has investigated the role of memory in place-making and insurgent planning and assisted communities in making their places, narratives and practices more visible to policymakers, practitioners, and academics.
A native from Chile, her interest in historic preservation and cultural heritage as a resource for community development has been a sustained topic of her academic and professional experience. Prior to coming to the United States, Dr. Novoa worked in the National Monuments Council of Chile as head of the Education and Participation department, facilitating education and participatory processes in national and world heritage sites. Before that, she worked in the Sorrel Foundation and Open City Foundation in the UK, leading participatory design and planning processes and action research to involve youth in designing and planning their environments. She continues to connect research to practice by partnering with community organizations and NGOs, including her ongoing collaboration with Aldea foundation in Chile.
Magdalena Novoa received her Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. She also holds a M.A. in Arts and Cultural Management from the London School of Communication, a B.A. in Fine Arts from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, and a B.A. in Education from Universidad Gabriela Mistral.
- Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin
- M.A. in Arts and Cultural Management from the London School of Communication
- B.A. in Fine Arts from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
- B.A. in Education from Universidad Gabriela Mistral
Research and publications
Ongoing and upcoming research
The politics of historic preservation and cultural heritage in planning; politics in feminine and place-based ethics of care; alternative planning approaches, insurgency, citizenship, and social justice; Insurgent heritage and the role of memory in planning; the role of the arts in community development and grassroots practices; Change and cultural landscapes; decolonial approaches to research and situated methodologies.
Novoa, M. “Decolonizing heritage: Class and gender in postindustrial landscapes.” In The Concept (s) of Heritage. Mace, J and Zhu, Y. (eds). Quebec: Presses de l’Université du Québec. Accepted for publication.
Novoa, M. 2019. Turning Power Upside Down: Historic Preservation and Grassroots Organizations in Valparaíso, Chile. Platform, Fall 2019, 23-28.
Novoa, M. (2018). Insurgency, heritage and the working class: the case of the Theatre of Union No6 of the Coal Miners of Lota, Chile. International Journal of Heritage Studies, 24:4, 354-377.
Novoa, M. (2018). “Chile and the Declaration of Amsterdam: Challenges for World Heritage Sites” in Forty Years of the Declaration of Amsterdam: Reflections on the Past, Present and Future of Integrated Conservation. Penna, K., Tinoco, J., Lapa, T. (eds.). Olinda: Centre for Advanced Studies in Integrated Conservation of Brazil.
Novoa, M., Díaz de la Fuente, S., Newcombe R., Berg E. y Corvalán F. 2017. “Aprendizaje, arquitectura y ciudadanía crítica para niñas y niños” Revista Planeo Nº 32 Ciudades inclusivas.