Amber N. Wiley is an Assistant Professor of Art History at Rutgers University. Her research interests center on the social aspects of design and how it affects urban communities – architecture as a literal and figural structure of power. She focuses on the ways local and national bodies have made the claim for the dominating narrative and collective memory of cities and examines how preservation and public history contribute to the creation and maintenance of the identity and sense of place of a city. Her publications cover African American and African diasporic cultural heritage, urbanism in New Orleans, school design, urban renewal, and preservation policy. Her research and teaching have been supported by Dumbarton Oaks, the Mellon Foundation, the Society of Architectural Historians, ARTstor, and American Educational Research Association. She has won activism and publication awards from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture and Vernacular Architecture Forum. Her current book project, under contract with the University of Pittsburgh Press, is entitled Model Schools in the Model City: Race, Planning, and Education in the Nation’s Capital.
Recently, she was co-principal investigator of the Carter G. Woodson Home National Historic Site National Historic Landmark Nomination Update. Amber is a founding member of the DC Legacy Project: Barry Farm/Hillsdale steering committee, which seeks to ensure the permanent preservation of five landmarked buildings at Barry Farm Dwellings and their use as a public community space in Washington, DC. She has completed interpretation, research, and visioning for the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Monument Lab, the DC History Center, and the National Building Museum, among others.
Amber received her Ph.D. in American Studies from George Washington University. She also holds a Master’s in Architectural History and Certificate in Historic Preservation from the University of Virginia School of Architecture, and a B.A. in Architecture from Yale University. She is an Oklahoma City native with roots in Oklahoma, Washington, DC, Arkansas, and North Carolina.