1st Edition

Rethinking Global Modernism
Architectural Historiography and the Postcolonial

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after November 23, 2021
ISBN 9780367636715
November 23, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
392 Pages 113 B/W Illustrations

USD $44.95

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Book Description

This anthology collects developing scholarship on modernism that outlines a new decentred history of global modernism in architecture using postcolonial and other related theoretical frameworks.

By both revisiting the canons of modernism and seeking to decolonize and globalize that canon, the volume explores what a genuinely "global" history of architectural modernism might begin to look like. Its chapters explore the historiography and weaknesses of modernism's normative interpretations and propose alternatives to them. The collection offers essays that interrogate transnationalism in new ways, reconsiders the agency of the subaltern, and the roles played by infrastructures, materials, and global institutions in propagating a diversity of modernisms internationally. Issues such as colonial modernism, architectural pedagogy, cultural imperialism, and spirituality are engaged.

With essays from both established scholars and up-and-coming researchers, this is an important reference for a new understanding of this crucial and developing topic.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Global Modernism and the Postcolonial

Vikramaditya Prakash, Maristella Casciato, and Daniel E. Coslett

PART I: Critiques of Normative Modernist Narratives

Chapter 2. "Weak" Modernism: Managing the Threat of Brazil’s Modern Architecture at


Patricio del Real

Chapter 3. Enchanted Transfers: MoMA’s Japanese Exhibition House and the Secular

Occlusion of Modernism

María González Pendás

Chapter 4. Competing Modernities: Socialist Architecture’s Challenge to the Global

Juliana Maxim

Chapter 5. Architecture in the 1990s, the Mies van der Rohe Prize, and the Creation of the

Civilization Industrial Complex

Mark Jarzombek

PART II: New Theoretical Frameworks for Thinking Global Modernism

Chapter 6. An Architecture Culture of "Contact Zones": Prospects for an Alternative Historiography of Modernism

Tom Avermaete and Cathelijne Nuijsink

Chapter 7. Intra-action: Barad’s "Agential Realism" and Modernism

Hannah Feniak

Chapter 8. Layered Networks: Beyond the Local and the Global in Postcolonial Modernism

Alona Nitzan-Shiftan

PART III: Modernism and (Trans)Nationalism

Chapter 9. Uneven Modernities: Rabindranth Tagore and the Bauhaus

Martin Beattie

Chapter 10. Unbuilt Iran: Modernism’s Counterproposal in Alvar Aalto’s Museum of Modern Art in Shiraz

Shima Mohajeri and Parsa Khalili

Chapter 11. Representing Landscape, Mediating Wetness: Louis Kahn at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar (East Pakistan/Bangladesh)

Labib Hossain

PART IV: Rethinking Agency in Modernism

Chapter 12. Domestic Funk: Favelados of the Global North

Greg Castillo

Chapter 13. CINVA to Siyabuswa: The Unruly Path of Global Self-help Housing

Hannah le Roux

Chapter 14. Subaltern-Diasporic Histories of Modernism: Working on Australia’s "Snowy Scheme"

Anoma Pieris

PART V: Infrastructures and Materials Cultures of Global Modernism

Chapter 15. The Politics of Concrete: Material Culture, Global Modernism, and the Project of Decolonization in India

Martino Stierli

Chapter 16. Jane Drew in Lagos: Carbonization after Colonization at BP House, 1960

Daniel A. Barber

Chapter 17. Provincializing ENI’s Disegno Africano: Agip Tanzania and the Agip Motel in

Dar es Salaam

Giulia Scotto

Chapter 18. The Politics of Circulation: Cinema Architecture in Colonial Morocco

Craig Buckley


Chapter 19. Massive Urbanization and the Circulation of Eventualities

AbdouMaliq Simone


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Vikramaditya Prakash is an architect and an architectural historian and theorist. He is a professor of architecture and associate dean for academic affairs at the University of Washington, Seattle. Prakash is the host of the ArchitectureTalk podcast and co-design lead at the Office of Uncertainty Research. His recent books include Colonial Modernities: Building, Dwelling and Architecture in British India and Ceylon (edited with Peter Scriver) (Routledge, 2007), The Architecture of Shivdatt Sharma and Chandigarh: An Architectural Guide (Mapin, 2012), and One Continuous Line: Art, Architecture and Urbanism of Aditya Prakash (Mapin, 2021). 

Maristella Casciato is an architect and architectural historian and is Senior Curator of Architecture at the Getty Research Institute (since 2016). She was Mellon Senior Fellow at the Canadian Center for Architecture in Montreal (2010) prior to being appointed Associate Director of Research at the same institute (2012–15). She has taught the history of architecture in Italy and in the United States. Since the late 1990s she has been engaged in a research project on Pierre Jeanneret and the planning of Chandigarh in postcolonial India. On this topic she has curated a few exhibitions and contributed to the publication of catalogues and essays.

Daniel E. Coslett is a scholar of colonial and postcolonial architecture and urbanism whose work addresses the intersections of architecture and urban planning, preservation, archaeology, and tourism in North Africa. He received a PhD in the history and theory of built environments from the University of Washington and an MA in the subject from Cornell University. Coslett has taught art and architectural history at Western Washington University and the University of Washington. His edited volume entitled Neocolonialism and Built Heritage: Echoes of Empire in Africa, Asia, and Europe (Routledge) was published in 2020. He is an associate editor at the International Journal of Islamic Architecture.