Carnegie Mellon University

John Soluri

John Soluri

Associate Professor, Director of Global Studies

  • Baker Hall 363
  • 412-268-7122


Professor Soluri's research and teaching explore the relationship between social and environmental change in Latin America. He is currently completing a book project, Refashioning Patagonia: Animals, International Markets, and the Particularity of Place, that examines how the commodification of wild and domesticated animals for textiles transformed Patagonia. He recently collaborated with colleagues in Colombia and Brazil to edit a new synthesis of modern Latin American environmental history.  In addition, the University of Texas will be publishing a second edition of his award-winning book, Banana Cultures, in 2021.

During the 2019-20 academic year, he co-convened an A.W. Mellon funded Sawyer Seminar, “Bread and Water: Access, Belonging, and Environmental Justice in the City.” He directed Matthew Nielsen’s dissertation “Unruliness at the Margins: Environment and Politics in the Lower Orinoco River Basin, 1600s - 1700” (2019). His current graduate student, Francisco Javier Bonilla, is working on a history of water infrastructure in twentieth-century Panama. Beyond the academy, Soluri chairs the Board of Directors of Building New Hope, a Pittsburgh-based not-for-profit that partners with Central Americans to promote youth education and sustainable agriculture.


Ph.D.: University of Michigan, 1998


  • “Fur Sealing and Unsettled Sovereignties.” In Crossing Empires: Taking U.S. History into Transimperial Terrain, edited by Kristin Hoganson and Jay Sexton. Duke University Press, 2020.
  • (with Claudia Leal and José Augusto Pádua) A Living Past: Environmental Histories of Modern Latin America. Berghahn Books, 2018; Spanish-language version: Un Pasado Vivo: Dos Siglos de Historia Ambiental Latinoamericana. Ediciones Fondo de Cultura Económica 2019.
  • “Home Cooking: Campesinos, Cuisine and Agrodiversity.” In Environmental Histories of Modern Latin America, edited by John Soluri, Claudia Leal, and José Augusto Pádua. Berghahn Books: 2018.
  •  “Limits: A Model T in Tierra del Fuego.” In Fueling Culture: 101 Words for Energy and Environment, edited by Imre Szeman, Jennifer Wenzel and Patricia Yaeger. Fordham University Press, 2016.
  • “Labor, Rematerialized: Putting Environments to Work in the Americas,” International Labor and Working-Class History, v. 85 (2014): 1-15.

Courses Taught

  • Food, Culture, and Power: A History of Eating
  • Coffee and Capitalism
  • Animal Planet: An Environmental History of People and Animals
  • Bananas, Baseball, and Borders: A History of Latin America-U.S. Relations
  • Advanced Seminar in Global Studies
  • Transnational Proseminar (Graduate)

Department Member Since: 1999