Material and Visual Studies of Modernity presents a series of case studies in visual and material culture as the basis for an examination of modernism in Europe and the United States. The course draws on the diverse knowledge base of FIU faculty and Wolfsonian staff, who will lead classes as guest discussants. The seminar will utilize materials from the Wolfsonian library and object collection, and students will be encouraged to use the Wolfsonian’s holdings as part  of their semester-long research projects. One subtext of the course will be methodological, as the various guest discussants introduce students to their disciplines’ varying historiographic methods.

Wolfsonian Visiting Scholar Dennis Doordan will lead three class sessions which will include demonstrations of first-hand work with materials from the Wolfsonian library and materials collections. David Rifkind (Department of Architecture) will organize the course, and will lead two class sessions focusing on architecture, publications, and colonialism in twentieth-century Italy. Professor Jeffrey Schnapp (Stanford and Harvard) will lead one class session based on his Speed Limits exhibit at the Wolfsonian. FIU Architecture professors Marilys Nepomechie and John Stuart will lead discussions at exhibitions they’ve curated at the Frost Museum and Coral Gables Museum, respectively.

Course poster.



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

Another excellent document explaining the Wolfsonian collections, and a guide for FIU students conducting research at The Wolfsonian-FIU.

La Habana Moderna exhibition survey.

Material and Visual Studies of Modernity