Personal profile

Research overview

Dissertation title:

The 1939 New York World's Fair: Cultural Diplomacy in the Age of Fascism

My research interests lie in the cultural, diplomatic, and spatial history of twentieth-century Europe and the United States, with a particular focus on the classically-inflected architectural production of the interwar period and its relationship to the (re)construction of national identity. I am especially interested in instances of creative or ideological transfer between states and the spaces or places in which this might have occurredI also explore the extent to which various interpretations of cultural heritage came to influence the reimagined built environments of Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany, and the New Deal USA.

The PhD project will further develop these interests under the supervision of Prof. Riccardo Bavaj, Kate Ferris, Sam Rose (Art History), and the Institute for Transnational and Spatial History. In exploring the ways architectural form and urban design were deployed as tools of diplomacy at the several international exhibitions held between 1933-42, this project will recast the historical role played by the international expositions while investigating potential links between the ambassadorial, domestic, and even imperial elements of state-sponsored design throughout the interwar period. My study will focus heavily on the lived experience of the fairs in order to gauge the popular response to specific national pavilions. To date, this project has benefitted from the generous support of the St Leonard’s College International Scholarship, the Banco Santander Research Mobility Award, the Association for the Study of Modern Italy (ASMI), and the Society for Historians of Foreign Relations (SHAFR).

I welcome suggestions and ideas regarding potential collaborative research projects or public outreach opportunities.

Academic Biography

Prior to joining the University of St Andrews, I taught as an adjunct associate professor within the Faculty of Humanities and Foreign Languages at Santa Fe College in Florida, USA and spent the 2016 academic year as a lecturer within the Faculty of Humanities at Manchester Community College in Connecticut, USA. I studied for a BA in History and English at West Virginia University before completing MPhil degrees in Classics and History at Trinity College Dublin and the University of Cambridge, respectively.

I will be based at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy through the end of Candlemas term 2020.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities

Education/Academic qualification

Master of Philosophy, Classical Design and the Fascist Construction of International Legitimacy at the World’s Fairs of 1933-42, University of Cambridge

Award Date: 20 Jul 2018

Master of Philosophy, Fascist Neoclassicism: The Architecture and Imagery of Interwar Munich and Rome, Trinity College Dublin

Award Date: 15 Apr 2016

Bachelor of Arts, West Virginia University

Award Date: 9 May 2014


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