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Spring Lecture: Mark Jarzombek

The Modern and the (Dis-)Locations of Architectural History

We might think of architectural history as a sub-field of history or even of art history. In this lecture, I will discuss how architectural history in the last decades has risen to the level of the geo-political. This transformation had a lot to do with the emergence the post-WWII and post Cold War nation state and was facilitated by UNESCO, the museum-boom beginning in the 1980s and the tourist industry.

The result is an emerging tension between architectural history as an academic discipline and architectural history as part of a construction of local populist imaginaries. One of the results of this transformation is that though we supposedly live in a global age, the possibility of writing a global history of architecture is ever more elusive.

This lecture is co-sponsored by the Five College Consortium, Amherst College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, and UMass Architecture.