Wait, Chelsea

(414) 229-4200
Mitchell Hall 371


Chelsea Wait (she, her, hers) is a doctoral dissertator and adjunct professor who coordinates research projects at the intersection of community engagement, creative arts, cultural landscapes, and public history. Her dissertation, Neighborhoods of Care, analyzes the care practices of Milwaukee residents using ethnographic observation, and archival research. She has presented her research at national conferences, presented guest lectures, and teaches at UW-Milwaukee. She is a co-author of an article in the peer-reviewed journal Dialectic VIII, entitled "The Role of Fieldwork: Buildings-Landscapes-Cultures Field School and Architectural Pedagogy." My dissertation reviews literature on care as it relates to urban neighborhoods and socio-spatial practices. I examine conventional understandings of caring for neighborhood, developing a framework while highlighting its limitations. I then ask unpack the class tensions and other critical context underlying this limited framework to develop a theory of transformative neighborhood care, the care that is needed in the face of immense impending crises.

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Dissertation Title

Neighborhoods of Care: Practicing Collective Caring in Contemporary Sherman Park


Bachelor of Science in Architecture, Ball State University, 2008
Bachelor of Science in French, Ball State University, 2008

Research Focus

Architectural History and Theory
Critical Race Theory and the American Landscape
Public History
Collaborative and Design Ethnography
Community Engagement
Material and Visual Culture


ARCH-190: Local Architecture Histories
ART-150: Multicultural America

Selected Work

“Race and Place in the American Landscape,” Paper Presented at Society of Architectural Historians Annual conference, April 16-18, 2018.
“Racialization of the Landscape,” Paper Presented at the Landscape, Space, and Place Conference at Indiana University, March 2018.
“Home and Community Storytelling” Workshop Organizer at the Annual Gathering of Imagining America, March 2016.
“Perspectives on Field Schools,” Panel at the 2013 American Folklore Society Annual Meeting, April 2014.