Pollyanna Rhee Joins Our Department
Dr. Rhee completed an MS in Critical, Curatorial, and Conceptual Practices in Architecture (2011) and a PhD in History and Theory of Architecture (2018), both at Columbia University. Her dissertation, titled “Designing Natural Advantages: Environmental Visions, Civic Ideals, and Architecture for Community, 1920–1970,” shows how community-based interventions in the built and natural environments around Santa Barbara, California, shaped expectations of nature and society there. Extending a long history of social and environmental manipulation in order to promote an image of urban life at ease with nature, those initiatives cast into relief an environmentalism at once grassroots and deeply connected to political authority.
Rhee has received fellowships and grants from the American Philosophical Society, the American Society for Environmental History/National Science Foundation, the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, the Society of Architectural Historians, and the Huntington Library, and she is currently a postdoctoral Andrew W. Mellon Fellow in the Environmental Humanities Research Group at the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities (IPRH).
In 2019–2020, Rhee will undertake the second and final year of the Mellon Fellowship at IPRH, completing the manuscript for a book based on her dissertation. In spring 2020, she will teach a seminar called American Wastelands through the Campus Honors Program, and she will join the faculty officially in August 2020.