Dissertation Title: Tectonics of Development: Mineral Extraction and the Architecture of the University-City in South America, 1945–1975
Advisor: Fabiola Lopez-Duran
Originally trained as an architect, PhD Candidate Giovanna Bassi Cendra specializes in the history of modern Latin American art and architecture. Her current research focuses on the entanglement of architecture with the ideologies of “development” and extractive capitalism in South America during the postwar period. Her ongoing dissertation project, which interrogates the planning, design, and construction of university campuses vis-à-vis the intensification of mining and oil extraction in the region, has received the Carter Manny Research Award from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts in 2020, as well as support from the Rockefeller Foundation and the Wagoner Foreign Study Scholarship. Giovanna’s essay on Argentinian artist Gyula Kosice’s Hydrospatial City (1946–1972)—which received the Peter Marzio Award for Outstanding Research in Latin American and Latino Art—has revealed the importance of this pioneer critique of the modernist functional city. Giovanna is a founding member of the Racial Geography Project research collective, and has been a collaborator in the Documents Project of the International Center for the Arts of the Americas (Museum of Fine Arts, Houston). She will become the Emerging Scholars Fellow at the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Design of the University of Houston beginning the fall of 2023.
“Academic and Architectural Modernization for Development: Financial and Technical Assistance to the University of Concepción, Chile, 1956–1968.” Rockefeller Archive Center Research Reports (March 16, 2023), https://rockarch.issuelab.org/resource/academic-and-architectural-modernization-for-development-financial-and-technical-assistance-to-the-university-of-concepcion-chile-1956-1968.html
“La Ciudad Hidroespacial: Challenging the Functional City.” ICAA Documents Project Working Papers: The Publication Series for Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art 6 (December 2018): 4-15, https://icaa.mfah.org/s/en/page/working-papers.
Co-authored with Fabiola López-Durán. “Breather: John Sparagana’s Third Condition.” Sicardi | Ayers | Bacino 25+, edited by Mariela Guilarte, 266–69. Houston, TX: Sicardi | Ayers | Bacino, 2022.
Short biographies of the artists “José Gabriel Fernández,” “Oscar Muñoz,” and “Víctor Grippo.” Contingent Beauty: Contemporary Art from Latin America, edited by Mari Carmen Ramírez and María C. Gaztambide, 233-35. Houston, Texas: Museum of Fine Arts; New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 2015.