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Architectural Historian Paula Lupkin '89 to Deliver Keynote Address at Barbara Miller Lane Symposium

Washington University in St. Louis architectural historian Paula Lupkin '89 will deliver the keynote address at the 2008 Barbara Miller Lane Symposium on the Built Environment on Thursday, March 27, at 7:30 p.m. in Thomas 110. Daniel Abramson, an art historian and the director of architectural studies at Tufts University, will comment on the lecture.  The talk is free and open to the public.

Lupkin and Abramson are two of a half-dozen distinguished scholars of architecture, history, and urban form who will gather at Bryn Mawr for a series of events on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of next week.  Also among them are Eric Avila, a professor of Chicano Studies and History at the University of California, Los Angeles; Alice Friedman, the Grace Slack McNeil Professor of the History of American Art and Architecture at Wellesley College; Paul Groth, a geographer and landscape historian at the University of California, Berkeley; and Martha McNamara, a historian and director of the New England Arts and Architecture program at Wellesley College.

The symposium honors Professor Emerita Barbara Miller Lane, who founded Bryn Mawr's Growth and Structure of Cities Program in 1971 and served as its director until 1989, with another year in the director's chair in 1996-97. The recipient of more than a dozen major grants and fellowships throughout her career, Lane is the author of a classic work on German architecture and planning in the early 20th century, among numerous other publications. Her most recent book is the  2006 anthology Housing and Dwelling: Perspectives on Modern Domestic Architecture. She is currently at work on a study of American tract housing of the 1950s and '60s.

The symposium begins on Wednesday, when Groth will be featured at a special Center for Visual Culture Colloquium from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. in Carpenter B21 with a talk titled "From Workers' Cottages to Blue-Collar Bungalows: Cultural Connections Inside California Factories and Homes." Groth, Friedman, and  McNamara will attend the Cities Majors' Tea that evening from 5 to 7 p.m. in the London Room.

Lupkin’s keynote address, titled "Redefining Region: Culture, Capital, and the American Southwest," will concentrate on architectural, cultural, and economic connections in a region between St. Louis, Kansas City, and Texas.  Between 1900 and the 1930s, the region was defined by railroads, telephone technology, and other business connections. Lupkin argues that region should be defined by economics and technology, rather than style.  The architectural connections are in the design and development of Texas cities by St. Louisians and Kansas City architects and planners, which can be seen in the downtown civic buildings and skyscraper and hotels, vaudeville and movie theaters, upscale suburban residential development, and city planning.

On Thursday, the visiting scholars will join Bryn Mawr faculty members for a series of lunchtime talks on the built environment. The keynote address at 7:30 that evening will be followed by a reception in the London Room from 9 to 10 p.m.  A reception for students in the London room from 9 to 11 a.m. on Friday, March 28, rounds out the symposium.

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Posted 3/20/2008 by Claudia Ginanni