Isa Amaro Varas ’23 awarded distinguished Watson Fellowship
Assistant Professor of Art History and Architectural Studies Anna Vallye has been awarded a NOMIS Fellowship at eikones—Center for the Theory and History of the Image at the University of Basel in Basel, Switzerland. Vallye will complete a manuscript of her book, tentatively titled Model Territories: German Architects and the Shaping of America’s Welfare State, during the residency, which will run January-December, 2021.
Vallye, who specializes in the history of 20th century architecture, will spend the year as part of an interdisciplinary research community dedicated to the study of images as concepts and tools across many fields of knowledge and culture. She will conduct research for her manuscript, a "history of modern architecture’s bold ambition to govern by shaping national territory."
“At the dawn of welfare states, architects stretched their professional identities to become urban planners. By linking the work of three German émigré architects in America during the 1930s-1950s—Walter Gropius, Ludwig Hilberseimer and Martin Wagner—to a transnational history of debates in political economics and social policy, I argue that they sought to create a conceptual and aesthetic image of territorial organization as a mode of governance. As prominent professors in schools of architecture and planning, they influenced a generation of American practitioners,” she said.
Vallye was awarded the fellowship in recognition of her outstanding academic record and the promise of productive scholarship. She says she is excited to focus exclusively on her research, and to share what she learns with her students when she returns.
“My research broadens and enriches my perspective and fundamentally informs my teaching. My Conn Course ‘Building Cultures’ draws on ideas about architecture I’ve encountered in reading across many different disciplines, and my fascination with the history of urban planning has translated into ‘History of City Planning’ and courses on the built environment of New London, as well as the collaborative ‘Mapping Urban Renewal in New London’ public history project,” she said.