The History, Theory and Society Ph.D program (HTS) offers degrees to students interested in studying the history and theory of architecture, the built environment and contemporary urbanism in a broad social, political, and cultural framework. This approach accommodates a range of topics across space and time. Based on their interests and background, students can draw on historical and theoretical material from across the humanities to formulate areas of study and thesis and dissertation topics. Historically, the program was a pioneer in the study of non-western environments, an approach now updated to consider issues of development and globalization in the 20th and 21st century. The program’s emphasis is on situating architecture, building and urbanism in a larger intellectual context through the use of contemporary social theory, historical analysis, and a variety of methods from ethnography to archival research.
Applicants are encouraged to carefully examine the research interests of the PhD Program Faculty listed below. Also, they can review other members of the Architecture Department Faculty. Students may situate their research interest in the comprehensive area of History, Theory and Society, or may choose concentrations in Environmental Design & Urbanism in Developing Countries or Social and Cultural Processes in Architecture & Urban Design.
The following are members of the Ph.D faculty who focus on the subject area of History, Theory and Society. Please also review the current list of all faculty in the Architecture Department. Samples of faculty research can be found in the faculty research projects.
Nezar AlSayyad, Professor of Architecture, City Planning, Urban Design, and Urban History
Traditional Dwelling and Settlements, Cinematic Urbanism, Cultural Heritage, Fundamentalism, Hybrid Urbanism, Islamic Architecture, Middle Eastern Cities, Urban Informality and Virtual Reality.
Greg Castillo, Associate Professor of Architecture
20th Century Architecture with Emphasis on Mid-Century Modernism, Cold War-Era Design, Consumer Culture, Architecture and the History of Emotions.
Galen Cranz, Professor of Architecture
Chairs and Body-Conscious Design, Urban Parks, the Sociology of Taste, Ethnography for Design, Post-Occupancy Evaluation and Qualitative Research Methods.
Margaret Crawford, Professor of Architecture
History of Architecture, Urban Design and Planning, Urban History and Theory, US Built Environment Studies, Urbanism in China
C. Greig Crysler, Professor of Architecture
Architecture of Globalization, discourses of Architecture and Urbanism and the Arcus Chair in Gender, Sexuality and the Built Enviornment.
Andrew Shanken, Professor of Architecture
Architecture and Consumer Culture, Memory and the Built Environment, Paper Architecture and the Unbuilt, Expositions, Themed Landscapes, and Architectural Rhetoric.
Neyran Turan, Assistant Professor of Architecture
Ph.D History, Theory and Society Alumni
Applicants are also encouraged to review the list of previous Ph.D. students and their dissertation topics for more information on the program.