Designs of Destruction: International Monument Protection in the Age of Total War

Architecture/Urban Studies/History

My book project traces the history of an international movement of architects, curators, lawyers, and diplomats who worked with international agencies between the 1930s and 1970s to protect monuments worldwide from the destructions of war and modernization. The project addresses how the materiality and spatial disposition of monuments affected the politics of the League of Nations, the Allied Military Government, and UNESCO, arguing that destruction became an instrument of design.

Student collaborators are to: 1) conduct library and archival research, identifying and reading pertinent sources. One or more languages (French/Italian/German/Arabic) are useful, but not required; 2) produce spatial analyses through diagramming, by creating monuments maps, tables, and charts of monuments. Familiarity with Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, or InDesign preferred.

The student collaborators will act as a sounding board for the large-scale ideas of the project, and have autonomy in following independent lines of inquiry within the larger research project. The project offers the opportunity to work across disciplines to achieve a spatial understanding of history, politics, art, and architecture, and to contribute to the creation of innovative analytical tools that combine graphic and written sources.