Research and Teaching Interests:
Geography, New Orleans, Mapping, Spatial Analysis
Geographer Richard Campanella, Senior Professor of Practice with the Tulane School of Architecture, is the author of ten books and over 200 other publications on New Orleans and Louisiana geography, history, architecture, urbanism, culture and related topics. His research has been praised in the New York Review of Books, Journal of Southern History, Places Journal, Urban History, Louisiana History, Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association, and Bloomsbury Review. The only two-time winner of the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities Book of the Year Award, Campanella has also received the Louisiana Literary Award, The Historic New Orleans Collection’s Williams Prize for Louisiana History, the Newcomb Mortar Board Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Monroe Fellowship of the New Orleans Center for the Gulf South, the Hannah Arendt Prize for Scholarship in the Public Interest, the Tulane University Honors Professor of the Year Award, and the Press Club of New Orleans award for digital videos on Louisiana geography. In 2016, the Government of France named Campanella as Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques (Knight in the Order of the Academic Palms). Born in Brooklyn, Campanella is a former wilderness ranger with the U.S. Forest Service and a forestry volunteer with the U.S. Peace Corps in Honduras. He has worked at Tulane since 2000 and the School of Architecture since 2012, and lives uptown with his wife Marina and son Jason.
As a geographer, Campanella researches questions of “where” and “why there.” That is, he tries to identify, characterize, and explain spatial patterns—of human settlement, the built environment, and the underlying physical geography—with an emphasis on New Orleans and Louisiana. His approach is empirical and quantitative, using mapping and spatial analysis tools such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and remote sensing, integrated with qualitative sources and humanistic methods. Curiosity about place and people, past and present, drives what his work and he loves sharing his findings—through books, articles, three monthly writing commitments with regional publications, frequent public lectures, online at richcampanella.com, and most importantly, with Tulane students, who over the years have selected him three times for Excellence in Teaching / Professor of the Year awards.