Posts Tagged ‘Identity’

I had the opportunity to research and write a thesis paper on the effects of nationalism on architecture in my undergraduate History degree. This is an important topic as still today it is somewhat of an uncharted territory for historians. We living in a built environment are constantly bombarded and influenced by the architecture around us. We should be more cognizant of its effect. Select the link below to be redirected to where the document lives on ISSUU, an online publication website.

Nationalism & Architecture – Online Reader

Introduction / Summary

The built environment we inhabit is a strategic tool in the negotiation of national identity. The citizen cannot avoid the nation space due to the reality that citizens inhabit cities that are part of the national discourse. This discourse is directed by the hegemonic power of a nation that can influence the design and construction of our environments. Thus a federally constructed cityscape can enhance the power of the nation. Numerous case studies have analyzed the relationship between nationalism and architecture which have concluded that nations use architecture to reinforce identity. Haim Yacobi analyzed the Israeli-Palestinian use of architecture in nation-building. Paul Baxa shed light on Fascist Italy’s attack on Catholic Rome to develop a pagan Roman identity. These two cases are just a sample of the many that concluded that the built environment reinforce national identity. A nation’s conscious effort to manipulate architecture for nationalistic reasons can simply be called architectural nationalism. The authors of the sample case studies do not agree on all aspects of architectural nationalism because it is a relatively new debate on the varying theories of “how architecture is used” and “what does it represents subconsciously.” The debate encompasses the instigators, origins, place, time, governmental structure, and symbolization of architecture and identity. The issues in the debate are the ingredients needed to create a program of architectural nationalism. However, the mix of ingredients can be quite different in each state.


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