Bassi Cendra is a second year PhD student who previously studied and practiced architecture. She received her bachelor’s degree from the Universidad Ricardo Palma in Lima, Peru and her Master of Architecture degree from the Illinois Institute of Technology. Her long-standing interest in art and architectural history led her to complete a MA in Art History at the University of Houston. Her MA thesis “New Monumentality, Integration of the Arts, and the Shaping of Modern Life” adopted a transnational lens to chart several approaches to the notion of the Gesamtkunstwerk through which socially and politically engaged art and architecture came together in the 20th century. Bassi Cendra’s volunteer work at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston’s International Center for the Arts of the Americas sparked her interest in the dynamic and interdisciplinary exchanges that existed between avant-garde groups in the US, Europe, and Latin America. Bassi Cendra plans to specialize in modern and contemporary Latin American art and architecture and to interrogate the ways in which transnational politics, economics, science, and ideology shaped art and the built environment during the twentieth century — and ultimately how these modern constructions inflected the Latin Americans’ relationship with the natural environment.