PLAN 71: Article
Architecture Students Corner Humanities Awards

Honoring the Stars of the History, Theory and Criticism Program

PhD candidates in the History Theory and Criticism Program of the Department of Architecture significantly cornered the field in humanities research fellowships this year, indicating that the program has become, in the words of faculty member Arindam Dutta, 'a premier humanities program...bringing art and architectural conversations not only to architects but to scholars in all walks of life.'

This year's sweep follows several years of continued successes at institutions such as the Graham Foundation, the Getty Foundation, the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art and others. And this year, an HTC student also won a fellowship given out by the American Council of Learned Societies, competing against graduate students from hundreds of humanities programs all across the nation. Last year, HTC students won two such fellowships.

The unusual number of fellowships - far greater than the average for US architecture schools - highlights the program's uniqueness in American education. Alone among graduate programs in architecture schools, the SA+P program hosts a substantial curriculum in art history and its position in the nation's oldest school of architecture distinguishes it from the art history departments in other universities.

One of the first to grant the PhD in a school of architecture, the program was founded in 1975 to prepare students for an intellectual life in universities, in architecture schools and in architectural practice. In addition to the PhD, the program offers concentrations in the programs for the Master of Science in Architecture and the Bachelor of Science in Art and Design. Its graduates have gone on to teach in prominent universities and colleges worldwide.

Headed by Professor Caroline Jones, the core faculty includes Stanford Anderson, Arindam Dutta, David Friedman, Mark Jarzombek, Nasser Rabbat and the newly-added Kristel Smentek. (Read about her appointment here). A number of them hold professional degrees, as well as academic ones, which contributes to the interaction of practice and scholarship that is unique to this environment. They are also supplemented annually by distinguished visiting scholars who contribute significantly to the intellectual life of the program.

Faculty and students in the program work in a range of fields, including:

  • Medieval and Renaissance Architecture
  • Baroque and Enlightenment Art and Architecture
  • Islamic Architecture
  • Art and Technology/Science
  • Modern Architecture
  • Post-war and Postmodern Art and Architecture
  • Aesthetics, Trauma and Memory
  • Historiography
  • Gender/Feminism
  • American Art and Architecture
  • The City
  • Orientalism and Postcolonialism
  • History of Preservation
  • Contemporary Aesthetic Practices and Cultural Debates
  • Word and Image
  • Comparative Global Studies in Art and Architecture

Below, the list of stars from this year's class:

Azra Aksamija: Contemporary Islamic architecture and urbanism in Europe and United States. (Title: "Our Mosques are Us: Rewriting National History of Bosnia-Herzegovina through Religious Architecture"). Krupp Foundation Fellowship for 2008-2009 from the Center for European Studies at Harvard.

Lucia Allais: Post-war European architectures and theories. (Title: "Will to War, Will to Art: Cultural Internationalism and the Modernist Aesthestics of Monuments 1932-1964"). Post-Doctoral Fellowship (Haarlen-Cotsen Fellow), Princeton University Society of Fellows (3-year fellowship), 2008-2011.

Zeynep Celik: Late nineteenth century and early twentieth century exchange between developments in science and architectural theory. (Title: "Kinaesthetic Impulses: Aesthetic Experience, Bodily Knowledge, and Pedagogical Practices in Germany, 1870-1914"). Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship, Columbia University for 2008-2010.

Jennifer Ferng: Technologies and theories of representation within architecture and history of science. (Title: "Nature's Objects: Architecture, Materiality, and Geology, 1750-1850"). Bourse Chateaubriand in the Humanities, Embassy of France and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 2008-9; Institute for Historical Research Mellon Dissertation Fellowship, 2008-9.

Mechtild Widrich: Contemporary art and theory; visual representation. (Title: "Performative Monuments: Public Art and Commemoration in Postwar Europe"). Max-Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin: Pre-doctoral Fellowship (Fall 2007).

Pamela Karimi: Contemporary art, architecture, and urban development of the Middle East. (Title: "Aesthetics and Ethics of the Iranian Home in the Age of Globalism"). American Council of Learned Societies Dissertation Fellowship, 2008-2009.

Sarah Katz: Historic sites and preservation; civic and designed landscapes. Summer Travel/Work/Research Award, Summer 2008, World Monuments Fund for Strawberry Hill Landscape Restoration Project, United Kingdom.

Fabiola López-Durán: 20th-century art and architectural theory. (Title: "Eugenics in the Garden: Medicine, Architecture and Landscape from France to Latin America in the Early Twentieth Century"). The Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, 2008-2009, The Dedalus Foundation Award, The Kress Foundation Fellowship in the History of Art (Travel Fellowship).

Melanie Michailidis: Islamic art and architecture. (Title: "Landmarks of the Persian Renaissance: Monumental Funerary Architecture in Iran and Central Asia in the Tenth and Eleventh Centuries"). Mellon Post-doctoral Fellowship in Art History, Carleton College, 2007-2009.

Tijana Vujosevic: Non-Western architecture; architectural references in literature; national liberation. (Title: "Everyday Spaces in Urban Soviet Russia 1917-1939"). American Association of University Women International Fellowship 2008-2009.

Nicola Pezolet: 20th-century modernist and avant-garde groups in Europe; historiography and "critical theory"; art and technology. Canada Graduate Fellowship 2007-2011, Social Sciences and HumanitiesResearch Council of Canada, awarded September 1, 2007, Travel grant, French Department, Stanford University, 2007.

Alla G. Vronskaya: European landscape architecture in the 20th century. (2) Dissertation Proposal Development Fellowship 2008, Social Science Research Council, awarded March 2008, Scholarship (2008 London Summer School Tuition), Victorian Society in America, awarded March 2008.

Winnie Wong: Copies, fakes and counterfeits in popular culture and contemporary art. (Title: "After the Copy: China, Dafen Village, and the Hand-painted Art Product (1979-)". Social Science Research Council International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2008, CLIR Mellon Dissertation Fellowship in the Humanities in Original Sources 2008.

Posted September 2008