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Teaching Interests

I have evolved a range of teaching interests through my dissertation research, and through undergraduate and graduate coursework. For my PhD qualifying exams, my three fields were Architecture of America and Europe, 1890-1970; the History and Culture of the New Deal; and the Architecture of World’s Fair’s and Exhibitions. I welcome the opportunity to teach a variety of introductory survey courses covering the history of art & architecture, with particular emphasis on architecture nineteenth-century through present.

Incorporating my dissertation research and qualifying exam preparation, I look forward to developing courses on the following topics: 

Agricultural architecture & the American rural landscape

In my dissertation research on farming during the New Deal, I have been particularly interested in the impact of changing technologies, cultural norms, and federal agricultural policies on the physical constitution of the American rural landscape. A course on this topic would present the unique opportunity to use methodologies within vernacular architecture while also exploring more modern concerns such as industrialization and standardized building materials. 

 The REA Power Plant Museum near Hampton, Iowa. 2011. 

The REA Power Plant Museum near Hampton, Iowa. 2011. 

Architecture and electricity  

My dissertation work on the Rural Electrification Administration has introduced me to the substantial literature concerning the relationship of architecture and electricity. I imagine this course as going beyond the connection of lighting and the built environment to explore how the advent of electricity changed standards of living in both urban and rural spheres. 



Art, architecture, and culture of the New Deal 

My qualifying exam reading list was organized into sub-fields that explored themes including “The Works Progress Administration and Art in the New Deal,” “The Civilian Conservation Corps and Environmentalism” and “Radio and Popular Culture.” I envision a syllabus structured around similar unit topics. 

The Architecture of World’s Fairs and Exhibition

This course would also be based on a qualifying exam reading list. Thematic course sub-topics could include “Fairs as Hegemonic and Didactic Devices,” “The Anthropology of World’s Fairs,” and “Fairs as Displays of Technology and Progress.” 

Outside the scope of my dissertation research, I have a number of teaching interests that relate to  future book and article projects. This is just a sampling of courses that I would be particularly enthusiastic about generating: 

The Banality of Building Tall: Skyscraper Vernaculars, 1880-Present 

This combined lecture- and discussion-based course, developed from a high school summer course I taught in 2013, applies the methodology of vernacular architectural history to the development of tall buildings. My preparation for this course was supported by the Society of Architectural Historians, which awarded me the Scott Opler Endowment for New Scholars Fellowship in 2013 to fund my participation in a Study Day for the 100th anniversary of the Woolworth Building. 

 Midtown, New York City, from the viewing platform of the Woolworth Building. 2013.

Midtown, New York City, from the viewing platform of the Woolworth Building. 2013.

Bazaars, Arcades, and Shopping Malls: Global Architectures of Consumption

 In 2011-2012, I executed a project on Victor Gruen, one of the architects responsible for the rise of the indoor shopping mall in the United States. I contextualized Gruen’s writings from the 1950s-1970s within a larger corpus of theory on consumerism and architecture (Walter Benjamin’s Arcades Project, e.g.). Based on the research from that project, this course would explore the rise of consumerist landscapes from a global perspective. 

 Adobe Round Barn at Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs, New Mexico. 2014.

Adobe Round Barn at Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs, New Mexico. 2014.

From Adobes to Fred Harvey: Southwest architecture & Pueblo revival

I envision this course as a seminar where Southwestern architecture would serve as a case study for theories about regionalism and place-specificity. Through examples ranging from early Spanish mission churches to Pueblo Deco structures from the 1920s, this course would test the precepts of regionalist thinking, employing Vincent B. Canizaro’s 2007 collection of essays, Architectural Regionalism: Collected Writings on Place, Identity, Modernity, and Tradition, as the course textbook. 



Travels in Unreal America: Architectural Imitations and Fakes

Using Ada Louis Huxtable’s The Unreal America (1997) and Umberto Eco’s Travels in Hyperreality (1973) as the touchstone texts, this seminar would explore the American fascination with architectural replicas and recreations. In preparing this course, I will draw on the substantial work I have done on tourist environments and thematic landscapes (including a 2014 conference paper for the Society of Architectural Historians). 

Blue Routes, Route 66, and Miracle Miles: American Automotive Architectures, 1920-1970

My interest in automotive landscapes has persisted since I wrote my undergraduate thesis on the preservation and afterlife of Route 66 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I further developed these ideas in a sub-field for my qualifying exams entitled “The Automobile Landscape.” I imagine this as a lecture course that would use the relationship of cars and architecture to explore themes of mobility, travel culture, and infrastructure planning. 

Interwar Modernism/Global Postwar Modernization 

Based in part on my dissertation work, this course would explore how the use of modern architecture in Europe and America during the interwar years to promote social and technological modernization relates to a global program of postcolonial modernization in developing countries after World War II. Placing a substantial emphasis on modern architecture in the nonwestern world, much of the assigned reading for this seminar would come from Sarah W. Goldhagen and Réjean Legault’s Anxious Modernisms: Experimentation in Postwar Architectural Culture (2000).