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Architecture group plans symposium

The History, Theory and Criticism group (HTC) of the Department of Architecture will continue its 25th anniversary celebration with a symposium on April 17-18 in the Bartos Theater (Building E15).

"Architecture, Art and Cultural History: Refractions and Reflections" is the second event in a three-part series honoring HTC's anniversary. The first was last spring's festschrift for Professor Stanford Anderson, head of the architecture department, and the third will be another symposium to be held during the 1998-99 school year.

Next week's event will explore some of the changes and challenges arising from the recent rapprochement of architectural and art history with cultural history. In the last two decades, closer ties between the disciplines have created a shift in the nature and choice of research topics for historians of architecture and art. The symposium hopes to demonstrate the need for continued collaborative relationships, and attempt to define the goals and differences of the various disciplines.

Presenters will be Anet Abu-Lughod, professor of sociology at the New School for Social Research; Martin Bernal and Susan Buck-Morss, both professors of government at Cornell University; and Carlo Ginzburg, the Franklin D. Murphy Professor of Italian Renaissance Studies at UCLA.

Professors Abu-Lughod and Bernal will speak Friday afternoon on "Constructing Cities, Constructing Histories: Illustrations from New York, Chicago and Los Angeles" and "Ethiopia: Source of the Nile, Source of Wisdom, with some Architectural Animadversions," respectively. Professor Buck-Morss' presentation, "The Tectonics of History," is scheduled for Saturday morning, followed by Professor Ginzburg on "Beyond Exoticism: Warburg and Picasso." A discussion session is planned for that afternoon.

The symposium, which is free and open to the public, will be hosted by the HTC faculty: Professors Sibel Bozdogan, David Friedman, Mark Jarzombek, Leila Kinney, Michael Leja and Nasser Rabbat.

Funding has been provided by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, the Council for the Arts, the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture, the Department of Architecture, the Office of the Dean of the School of Architecture and Planning, theDepartment of Humanities and Social Sciences, the Provost for the Arts and the Office of the Provost. No registration is required.

For more information, contact the HTC office at x8-8439, e-mail

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on April 15, 1998.

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