Fabiola López-Durán, “Practicing Utopia: Race, Architecture and the 1922 Brazilian Centennial Exhibition”

October 13, 2022 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Free and Open to the Public

Dr. Fabiola López–Durán’s (Associate Professor of Art History, Co-Director, Program in Museum and Cultural Heritage, Rice University) keynote lecture launches a LLILAS Brazil Center symposium marking the Brazilian bicentennial, Brazil at 200: Historical Reflections, Contemporary Challenges.

As Brazil prepared for the Centennial Celebration of its Independence, eugenics moved from the realms of medical science to architecture, landscape design and urban planning, becoming a critical instrument in the crafting of modernity in early 20th century Brazil.

Followed by a reception and viewing of the exhibition Social Fabric: Art and Activism in Contemporary Brazil in the Visual Arts Center.

Organized by the Art History Lecture Series, Brazil Center, and Visual Arts Center. With support from the Center for Latin American Visual Studies (CLAVIS) and LLILAS Benson Latin American Studies and Collections.

Fabiola López–Durán is an Associate Professor of Art and Architectural History. Rice University, Art History Department. Originally trained as an architect, López-Durán earned her Ph.D. in the History, Theory and Criticism of Architecture from MIT. Adopting a transnational and interdisciplinary perspective, López–Durán's research and teaching interrogates the cross-pollination of ideas and mediums—science, politics and aesthetics—that ignited the process of modernization on both sides of the Atlantic, with an emphasis on Latin America. Her broad research agenda focuses on non-western modernisms and the complicities between capitalism, racism, and the construction of the built environment. López–Durán's book, Eugenics in the Garden: Transatlantic Architecture and the Crafting of Modernity, investigates a particular strain of eugenics that, at the turn of the twentieth century, moved from the realms of medicine and law to design, architecture, and urban planning—becoming a critical instrument in the crafting of modernity. This book received a SAH/Mellon Author Award in 2018; and was the winner of the Robert Motherwell Book Prize in 2019.

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