Adopting a transnational and interdisciplinary perspective, Fabiola López-Durán’s research and teaching focuses on the history and theory of modern and contemporary European and Latin American art and architecture. Her new book, Eugenics in the Garden: Architecture, Medicine and Landscape from France to Latin America in the Early Twentieth Century, investigates a particular strain of eugenics that, at the turn of the twentieth century, moved from the realms of medicine and law to design, architecture, and urban planning—becoming a critical instrument in the crafting of modernity. Her work analyzes the cross-pollination of ideas and mediums—science, politics and aesthetics—that informed the process of modernization on both sides of the Atlantic, with an emphasis on Latin America.
Originally trained as an architect, López-Durán earned her Ph.D in the History, Theory, and Criticism of Architecture and Art from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Prior to joining the Rice University faculty, she was the 2009-2011 Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities at the Department of History of Art at University of California-Berkeley. Her awards include fellowships from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, Dedalus Foundation, CLIR, Harvard Center for European Studies, Camargo Foundation, Samuel H. Kress Foundation and the Fulbright Program. She has more recently been recognized by the Society of Architectural Historians with a SAH/Mellon Author Award for her 2018 book, Eugenics in the Garden. Her work has been published in Europe, Asia, South America and the United States.