The Society of Architectural Historians is pleased to announce the following new members of the Graduate Student Advisory Committee: Vyta Pivo (chair), Charlette Caldwell (three-year term), Aslihan Gunhan (one-year term), Leslie Lodwick (two-year term), and Antonio Pacheco (two-year term). The committee is charged with planning and executing a broad range of activities for SAH and its graduate student community, including the Graduate Student Lightning Talks, online workshops, book clubs, discussions, keynote speaker conversations, panels on professional development publishing, and other events that focus on the graduate school experience more broadly.
Graduate Student Advisory Committee members Jennifer Tate, Jonah Rowen, Jia Gu, and Jessica Varner will be ending their terms in May 2021. SAH is grateful for their service over the past three years organizing programs and activities for SAH student members.
Charlette Caldwell is currently a doctorate student and a Provost Diversity Fellow studying the history and theory of architecture at Columbia University. Her research focuses broadly on nineteenth-century American architecture through a vernacular architectural perspective. Her main research interprets the historical evolution of “selfhood” and “personhood” by studying architecture created or patronized by historically marginalized groups living in nineteenth-century United States. This work is supported by unconventional archival methods, such as oral histories, minority-owned newspaper archives, and church and burial inventories along with recording and documenting historically significant places or places yet to be designated as “historic”. Charlette received a bachelor’s in Architecture from Syracuse University and a Master of Science in Historic Preservation from the Weitzman School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania. She is also a research fellow at the Weitzman’s Center for the Preservation of Civil Rights Sites, where she conducts research on preserving tangible and intangible sites of heritage associated with nineteenth- and twentieth-century Black American culture.
Aslihan Gunhan is an architect and PhD candidate in the History of Architecture and Urban Development Program at Cornell University. Her research investigates the contested histories of modernity and representations of modern architecture in the late Ottoman Empire with its broader geography, with questions of migration, displacement, dispossession, and violence, through comparative modernities and postcolonial theory. Her dissertation project, titled "Displaced Modernities: The Ottoman Empire, Turkey and the Specters of Armenian Architects," is the recipient of 2019 SSRC Mellon International Dissertation Research Fellowship. Her dissertation is an architectural study of the displacement of Armenians from the Ottoman Empire, their silenced legacy in the built environment, and the contested modernity in Turkey which crafts a legal basis for the confiscation of properties, dispossession of ex-citizens and bureaucracy of denial. Her research highlights the role that forced displacement—of people, objects, and ideas—has played in forever connecting Turkey, the Armenian architects, and their ever-present absence. She received grants from the Einaudi Center, Society for the Humanities, Institute of Comparative Modernities, The Clark Initiative for Law and Development, and Ecole Française d’Athenes. Gunhan is a Fulbright alumna (2015) and received her BArch and MArch degrees from Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey. She previously held a research position at MoMA and teaching positions at Cornell and METU. At Cornell, she works with Esra Akcan (architecture), Mostafa Minawi (history) and Iftikhar Dadi (art history).
Leslie Lodwick is an educator, cultural worker, and doctoral student in visual studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her research and teaching interests focus on issues of race, environment, technology, and education in histories of nineteenth- and twentieth-century architecture, as well as visual and material cultures of childhood, school, and play. Her current research examines alternative architectural methodologies and spaces of education. Her dissertation project looks to mid-century California school building and relationships to federal policy, environmental regulation, computing, and knowledge production. She is a recipient of the Social Science Research Council Dissertation Development Fellowship, holds an M.S.Ed. from the University of Pennsylvania, and is a former public-school educator.
Antonio Pacheco is a first-year PhD student in the History, Theory, and Criticism of Art and Architecture division of the Department of Architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He works at the intersection of architecture, historiography, and editorial production, and is interested in the spatial practices of governmental entities. His work examines the symbolic, bureaucratic, and professional legacies of public architecture across the United States, with a particular emphasis on the modes of architectural production of the New Deal.
Vyta Pivo, Chair
Vyta Pivo is a PhD candidate in American Studies at George Washington University, where she is completing a dissertation on the cultural and social history of concrete, titled “The Gospel of Concrete: American Infrastructure and Global Power.” Her research is centered on twentieth-century architecture and urbanism, with particular focus on the manufacture and dissemination of construction materials and their effects upon built, social, and natural environments. Vyta has received support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Science Foundation, the National Academies of Sciences, the Smithsonian Institution, the Library of Congress, the Hagley Museum and Library, and the Society of Architectural Historians. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in the Journal of Architectural Education, the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Humanities, PLATFORM, Gotham, and other outlets. She serves on the boards of several national professional organizations, including the Society of Architectural Historians and the Vernacular Architecture Forum; in 2020, she began her tenure as president of the SAH Latrobe chapter of Washington, DC. Prior to entering the PhD program, Vyta earned her master’s degree in architectural history from University College London and a bachelor's in studio arts/architecture from Wesleyan University.