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Kevan Malone

Ph.D. Candidate in History, UC San Diego

Residency: September 2020 – March 2021

Research Project: Borderline Sustainability: Urbanization and Environmental Diplomacy at the Tijuana-San Diego Boundary, 1919-1999 

Research Interests: Urban, environmental, and U.S.-Mexico borderlands history


Kevan Malone is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History at UC San Diego. He is broadly interested in how built forms and urban lifestyles have historically impacted public health and natural resources across borders, and how planners and policymakers have addressed these impacts. While large metropolises like New York, Chicago and Los Angeles have dominated the attention of American urban historians, Malone sees the binational metro areas of the U.S.-Mexico border—where highly planned tract housing developments neighbor squatter settlements—as the more important sites for understand cities on a global scale.

His dissertation examines the ecological impact of rapid urban growth in the binational Tijuana River Basin during the 20th century and the role of environmental diplomacy in the governance of San Diego and Tijuana. It shows that the urban landscapes of this international border zone embodied the fundamental tensions between private enterprise, nationalism and environmental management in a region where the world’s largest economy meets the Global South. Malone’s research has been funded by the American Historical Association; the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations; the Tinker Foundation; the Kenneth and Dorothy Hill Foundation; the UCLA Special Collections Library; and UC San Diego’s Global Health Institute, International Institute, and Institute of Arts and Humanities. His commentaries have appeared in The Washington Post and The San Diego Union-Tribune.