Spring 2017 Princeton-Mellon Courses

The Princeton-Mellon Initiative is pleased to announce the following sponsored courses for Spring 2017.


Remapping Princeton
FRS 160 William H. Burchfield, Class of 1902, Freshman Seminar
W 1:30 - 4:20 PM

Aaron Landsman (Lewis Center for the Arts)
Alison Isenberg (History)

This course combines historical research and studies of the built and planned environment, with strategies in contemporary live theater. Together, students and instructors will research the history and current cultural and political life of Trenton and Princeton, and create alternative campus and city walking tours using the results of our investigations. Seminar participants will be able to draw upon a new archive of primary sources and oral history interviews documenting the impact of 1960s social and political mobilization in Princeton and Trenton, including the civil rights movement, urban renewal, protest, and campus/city upheavals. Course assignments bring together performance theory, history, and artistic practice to produce cogent, site-specific artworks (the walking tours), with the potential for long-term impact.

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Landscapes of Development
ARC 321
M W 11:00 AM - 12:20 PM

Ayala Levin (Princeton-Mellon)

This research seminar examines the relationship between architecture, resources, and territory in 20th century modernization projects in the U.S., Latin America, the Middle East, South East Asia, and Africa. We will explore the conditions in which architecture has become a tool of development (a concept which we will address critically), and the functions it assumed in the ordering and managing of labor, natural resources and industry. The seminar will conclude with an exhibition composed of students' research into a selected group of historical and/or contemporary projects and a public symposium.  

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Urban Diversity and Segregation in the Americas
SPA 360 / AAS 361 / AMS 375 / LAO 360
TH 1:30 - 4:20 PM

Bruno M. Carvalho (Spanish and Portuguese)

Diversity has sometimes been viewed as a source of vitality and strength, other times as a threat to cultural or national cohesion. This seminar explores histories of segregation and debates about diversity in a hemispheric framework, asking: how can Latin American perspectives inform our understanding of the U.S.? How has the U.S. shaped urban developments in Latin America, as a model or cautionary tale? What is the interplay between identity politics and moral values? Urbanism and ethics? How does diversity relate to inclusion, difference, and inequality? Topics include immigration, globalization, social justice, planning, race and racism.

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Havana's Architecture: Recent Past and Possible Features

ARC 466 / ART 466 / SPA 466 / URB 466
T 1:30 - 4:20 PM

Esther Roseli da Costa Azevedo Meyer
(Art and Archeology)
Eduardo Luis Rodriguez
(Princeton-Mellon and PLAS Visiting Scholar)

A study of modern architecture and urbanism in Havana focusing on Art Deco, the International Style, the American presence (from the sugar mills to Guantanamo), the foreign modernists (Mies, Sert, Neutra, Philip Johnson), the Cuban revolution and the Soviet period, Critical Regionalism, the role of the environment, historical preservation, ruins and gentrification. It concludes with an analysis of the problems and potentials facing a post-Castro Havana.

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Research into the Foundations of Urbanism
ARC 525 / ART 524 / MOD 524
F 1:30 - 4:20 PM

M. Christine Boyer (Architecture)
Aaron P. Shkuda (Princeton-Mellon)

This course asks what has happened to architectural research on "Urbanism" since the 1970s? How does the legacy of that decade act as an abstract force haunting the profession of architecture even today? In the last fifty years, there have been radical changes to cities around the globe. The public sector has given way to the dominance of the market economy, mega-cities have burst upon the the world in expansive numbers, environmental issues demand action, computing power and digitization have changed the nature of architectural practice. How has 'urbanism' as both an empirical descriptive analysis of the condition of cities and as a model of intervention, a representational scenario, reflected, absorbed, or distorted these conditions?


Humanistic Perspectives on History and Society - Havana: Architecture, Urbanism, and Literature in Transition 
ARC 597 / HUM 597 / MOD 575 / LAS 597
T 1:30 - 4:20 PM

Beatriz Colomina (Architecture)
Ruben Gallo (Spanish and Portuguese)

This seminar explores modern architecture and urbanism in Cuba, including the full kaleidoscope of historical, political, and cultural effects before and after the 1959 Revolution. Using the North-South relationship as the basic matrix, individual sessions will explore the spatial dimensions of a wide range of issues from revolution, utopia, cold war, prefabrication, tropical modernism, ruins, preservation, disease, sexuality, violence, resistance, etc. Through a series of case studies -- sites, buildings, urban projects -- we think of Cuba as a laboratory of modern architecture under the influence of multiple norths and souths.

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Topics in the Formal Analysis of the Urban Structure -  Environmental Challenges of Urban Sprawl
ARC 492 / URB 492 / ENV 492
M 1:30 - 4:20 PM

Mario I. Gandelsonas (Architecture)

As part of the search for solutions to climate, water and energy challenges in a rapidly urbanizing world, it is crucial to understand and reassess the role of exurban sprawl in the environment. This interdisciplinary course aims to add theoretical, pragmatic and cultural dimensions to scientific, technological, and policy aspects of current environmental challenges, in an effort to bridge the environmental sciences, urbanism and the humanities.

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The World as Artifact: Tomás Maldonado and the Environmental Turn in Architecture
ARC 554 / LAS 507 / SPA 601
W 1:30 - 4:20 PM

Joaquin Medina Warmburg (Princeton-Mellon and PLAS Visiting Fellow)

The seminar addresses the environmental aspects of the design philosophy defined in 1970 by Argentine-born design theorist Tomás Maldonado during his scholarship in Princeton. His principal writings devoted to environmental/architectural issues are examined, placing them in their specific historical/cultural contexts. The course looks at a selection of eleven main concepts in order to introduce the students to Maldonado's critical position. The seminar focuses on the intellectual biography of this early Latin American theorizer of architecture as environmental design in a broad sense, including technical, political and social concerns.

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