Martha Pollak

    Email Address:
    College: Architecture and the Arts Department: Art History
    Title: Professor
    Office: 202 A Henry Hall Phone: 996-3303
    Participating in the Chancellor’s Undergraduate Research Awards program: Yes

    Research Interest:
    My research project explores “private space” as represented in early modern western residential buildings and interiors. The larger questions that I consider, of concern to all those interested in architecture and in the seventeenth century, include: is there an evolution in patterns of Western habitation? have technological innovations fundamentally altered the set of emotions associated with dwelling? do architects actually educate the inhabitants of the houses designed by them?
    My goal is to write a monograph whose subject will counterbalance my recently published book, Cities at War (Cambridge University Pres, 2010), where I show that preparation for war and defense against it generated new architectural forms and education in large-scale architectural design. Like that book, my new study aims to consider thematically neglected areas of early modern architectural history and theory.
    My point of departure consists of the sizable collection of “house-books” published from the late sixteenth century. Widely and avidly consulted, this publication type initially claimed the authority of the antique, and continues to this day to provide prestigious models, as well as local and national identity for residential patterns and ways of building.

    Minimum time commitment in hours per week: 3 hours

    Qualifications of a Student:
    --3.5 gpa
    --background in the history of architecture and art, and European and American history
    --preferably junior standing
    --experience in library work
    --interest and ability in using web-based search engines in the humanities (such as jstor, francis, art index, etc.), and digitized text and image documents from various museum and library websites

    Brief Summary of what is expected from the student:
    Assistance in my research; tracking visual and documentary materials from a variety of web-based sources, such as library and museum websites.

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