This seminar course is designed to introduce graduate students to historiographic methodologies in architecture. The course will examine the way histories are framed and will revolve around close readings of major texts representing such key positions as formalism, social histories, “operative” and “critical” histories, Marxist historical analysis, feminist historical analysis, multiple modernities and architecture in the context of the history of ideas. The class will consider the formation of canons and the writing of the survey, and will explore the relationships between observation, description, analysis and interpretation.

Students enrolled in the seminar will take turns leading weekly discussions based on the assigned readings. Students will also prepare several written assignments over the course of the semester: a formal analysis of a Miami-area building or landscape, an expanded analysis of the same work in its social and cultural contexts, an exhibition review, and a book review. Students will be evaluated on the basis of their written assignments and class participation.

The course’s expected outcomes include a profound understanding of the key historical texts listed as assigned readings, an acute understanding of the broad range of historiographic methodologies employed by architectural historians, and an advanced ability to examine, analyze and interpret architecture. The course aims to help students develop an ability to read architectural history critically, and to write architectural history incisively.

The only prerequisite for the course is graduate standing. The seminar is a required core class for the Graduate Certificate in Architectural History, Theory and Criticism.



An excellent document explaining the FIU writing standards for architecture students.

illustrated object list for Wolfsonian/Frost exhibit

Historiography Seminar