Office: 1226 ARCH | Phone: 301-405-4005 | Email
PROFESSOR WILLIAM JOHN HANNA, Ph.D., focuses his research and teaching on U.S. neighborhoods and world cities. His approach combines political science, sociology, social anthropology, and social planning. In past years, he has conducted research in Los Angeles, New York City, Umuahia, Nigeria, Mbale, Uganda, and elsewhere.
In the year 2000, one of his research foci was the working-class neighborhood, Isidro Fabela, in Mexico City. There, working with a small group of graduate students, the research explored the multiple segments of the neighborhood’s commercial core, the relationship among these segments, and the related political and planning actions of the city’s public sector. A monograph reporting the research was published in early 2001.
Professor Hanna has, since late 1994, been conducting research, providing services, and focusing university seminars in Langley Park, Maryland, an immigrant working-class suburb. He and his students have published a series of reports on various aspects of the neighborhood, including a needs assessment and plan for the development of area businesses. During the 2000-2001 academic year, he presented professional papers on Langley Park and Isidro Fabela in meetings on sociology, Central America, and Latin America. He has also written several dozen popular articles on these and related subjects, including photo-essays on Maryland's International Corridor and changes in the built environment of Havana, Cuba.
Currently, his major research and writing effort focuses on Langley Park. In his work. Hanna combines university education, scholarly research, and community activism. For instance, in Maryland he has served on several area planning advisory committees; and he founded or co-founded two community development corporations, currently leads one of them, and also founded and edits a community newspaper. He is a strong believer in the learning power of active involvement in planning.