Art History Ph.D. candidate Giovanna Bassi Cendra has received a $3,500 grant from the Rockefeller Archive Center. This award will allow Giovanna to conduct archival research on the pivotal impact that the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations had on the planning, design, and construction of modern university campuses for the Universidad Nacional de Ingeniería (Peru), Universidad Técnica del Estado (Chile), and Universidad de Concepción (Chile). Her ongoing dissertation project, "Tectonics of Development: Mineral Extraction and the Architecture of the University-City in South America, 1945–1975," reconstructs the histories of these complexes to argue that the modern university-city in South America functioned as the ultimate technology of extractive development—an intellectual and operative node of complex resource-extraction systems that radically altered our planet’s societies, climate, and ecosystems.
Giovanna Bassi Cendra specializes in modern Latin American art and architecture. She holds a master’s degree in art history from the University of Houston and a master’s degree in architecture from the Illinois Institute of Technology. Her dissertation research adopts a transnational, eco-critical approach to interrogate the ways in which the ideology of "development," systems thinking, and extractivist agendas drove the construction of new spaces for higher education in South America during the postwar period.