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ARTH 639 Issues in North American Architectural History: The Cold War

  • Thursdays, 2:45-5:15 pm
  • Course delivery TBA
  • Professor Dr. Nicola Pezolet

This graduate seminar will use the Cold War as a historical framework to study the complex webs of relations between architecture, art, design, religion and mass politics in the second half of the twentieth century. Our goal will to be assess the various ways art and architecture, as part of visual and material culture, have played an instrumental role in shaping everyday life and worldviews on both sides of the so-called “Iron Curtain”. Our focus will be on North America and Western Europe, while keeping in mind the global balance of powers and the various transnational exchanges that occurred throughout the post-WW2 era. The seminar will consider both hegemonic, state-sponsored ideologies as well as artistic, political, religious, and environmental resistance movements against various kinds of capitalism and neo-colonialism. The polycentric and thematic structure of the seminar hopes to challenge a binary view of the USA-USSR conflicts and clarify the various ways that Cold War historiography has shaped architectural and art historical discourses.

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