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Department of

Architecture

Research

Kimberly Zarecor

My research examines the cultural and technological history of architecture and urbanism in the former Czechoslovakia with an emphasis on the postwar period. I studied with Kenneth Frampton, Gwendolyn Wright, Mary McLeod, Reinhold Martin, and Barry Bergdoll as a masters and Ph.D. student at Columbia University in the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (M.Arch., 1999, Ph.D. 2008). I also worked closely with historian Brad Abrams at Columbia’s Harriman Institute for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies. My dissertation was among the first in any discipline to address the question of how Communism affected cultural production in the Eastern Bloc in the 1940s and 1950s.  Using never-before-examined state archival collections in Prague and contemporary publications from the period of 1945-1989, I was able to chronicle in detail the transformation of architectural practice under the Communist regime, and in particular investigate changing strategies for housing construction and the introduction of industrial production and prefabrication on a mass scale. In 2011, I published this research as Manufacturing a Socialist Modernity: Housing in Czechoslovakia, 1945-1960 (University of Pittsburgh Press). The book appeared in Czech translation in 2015 with Academia Press as Utváření socialistické modernity: Bydlení v Československu v letech 1945-1960.

My work has also appeared in Architektúra & urbanizmus, East European Politics and Society, and Home Cultures, as well as a number of edited volumes and conference proceedings in English and in Czech translation. I am currently working on new research about socialist cities as a regional typology, the legacies of Communism in contemporary urbanism, and the debates about neo-liberalism and sustainable city design in post-socialist cities. I am also working on a long-term book project about the history of architecture and urbanism in Ostrava, an industrial city in northeast of the Czech Republic. I was a Fulbright Faculty Fellow in Ostrava in 2011-2012 and continue close collaborations with my colleagues at VŠB-Technical University in Ostrava.

 

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