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The Detlef Mertins Lecture on the Histories of Modernity:
Ayala Levin ‘15 PhD Arch
Introduction by Felicity Scott
Ayala Levin’s research is concerned with north-south and south-south architectural knowledge exchange, with a focus on building and urban planning projects in post-independence African states. She is currently completing a monograph on the export of Israeli architectural and planning models to Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Ethiopia, and the Ivory Coast in the 1960s-1970s. Her next book-length project will explore the emergence of environmental planning in the US in conjunction with the work of American architects, planners, and landscape architects in Africa from the mid 1950s to the late 1970s. Levin completed her PhD at Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation in 2015. Before joining Northwestern University’s Art History Department, she was a fellow at the Princeton-Mellon Initiative in Architecture, Urbanism and the Humanities.
The Detlef Mertins Lecture on the Histories of Modernity is an annual lecture in honor of the life and work of Detlef Mertins (1954-2011). The series is organized by Keller Easterling, Barry Bergdoll, Edward Dimendberg, and Felicity Scott. Previous speakers include Lucia Allais, Craig Buckley, and Zeynep C?lik Alexander. Supported by Keller Easterling, the Mertins Family, and Elise Jaffe + Jeffrey Brown.
“I came to focus on things that had been misunderstood or overlooked in the historical record and could, therefore, serve as mediators for new thought and design. The writing of architectural history can close down the past or open it up anew. It can bind historical experience into yet another ism …or it can unlock the life and modernité that resides even in the modernisms we already have.”?–Detlef Mertins