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Past Event:
Inaugural Symposium
24-25 March 2022

‘International Expositions: Looking to the Past, Seeing the Future.’ 

The 2022 symposium brought scholars and enthusiasts together to generate new ideas about the history and legacy of international expositions. The symposium sought to emphasise new and developing strategies for research, curation, and preservation to maximize outreach opportunities.

About ISIE

The ISIE is a global interdisciplinary network of researchers interested in the design, promotion, reception, and consequence of the world’s fairs and expositions held since 1851. Though rooted in the history of architecture, science, diplomacy, art, and technology, our members hail from many disciplines and we welcome the participation of all those interested in exploring the many intersecting aspects of international expositions. 

Keynote Speakers

Robert Rydell

Department of History, Montana State University

Further Reflections on World’s Fair Scholarship

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ISIE Committee


Professor Lisa Schrenk
Professor of Architectural History, The University of Arizona

Lisa D. Schrenk is Professor of Architectural History at the University of Arizona. She received a B.A. from Macalester College, a Master’s Degree in Architectural History from the University of Virginia, and a Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Texas at Austin. In 2006 and again in 2012 she received the Charles A. Dana I Award for excellence in teaching, research, and service


Other professional achievements include her recent book The Oak Park Studio of Frank Lloyd Wright (University of Chicago Press, 2021) receiving a coveted star review from Publishers Weekly and her book Building a Century of Progress: The Architecture of Chicago’s 1933-34 World’s Fair (University of Minnesota Press, 2007) named to Choice Review’s List of Outstanding Academic Titles. She received a Fulbright-Hays award to study sustainably development in Brazil and a We the People grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for her research on the Oak Park studio. In 2020 she was named AIA Arizona Community Educator of the Year, in part for initiating and serving as faculty advisor for the University of Arizona’s Women in Architecture Society and for her work as a UA Faculty Fellow.


Dr. Schrenk has served on numerous professional committees, including being elected to the Board of Directors for the Society of Architectural Historians and President of the Chicago Society of Architectural Historians. She is an expert member of ICOMOS's International Scientific Committee on the Interpretation and Presentation of Cultural Heritage Sites and is on the Faculty and Staff Council of Semester at Sea. She has participated in several NEH and East-West Center enrichment programs on Asian culture and has lectured on American expositions in China. Her extensive world travel has included visits to sites of architectural significance in over 85 countries, including while a faculty member on two around-the-world Semester at Sea voyages.


James Fortuna
PhD Candidate, University of St Andrews

Prior to joining the University of St Andrews, James taught within the Faculty of Humanities and Foreign Languages at Santa Fe College in Florida, USA and spent the 2016 academic year as a lecturer within the Faculty of Humanities at Manchester Community College in Connecticut, USA. He received a B.A. in History and English at West Virginia University before completing master’s degrees in Classics and History at Trinity College Dublin and the University of Cambridge, respectively. 


His research interests lie in the cultural, social, and diplomatic history of twentieth-century Europe and the United States, with a particular focus on the classically inflected architectural production of the interwar period and its relationship to the construction of national identity. He is especially interested in instances of creative or ideological transfer between states and the spaces or places in which this might have occurred. He also explores the extent to which various interpretations of cultural heritage came to influence the reimagined built environments of Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany, and the New Deal USA.


Through the generous support of the St Leonard’s College International Scholarship, his PhD dissertation will further develop these interests under the supervision of the Institute for Transnational and Spatial History. In exploring the ways architectural form and urban design were deployed as tools of diplomacy at the several international exhibitions held between 1933-42, this project will recast the historical role played by the international expositions while investigating potential links between the ambassadorial, domestic, and even imperial elements of state-sponsored design throughout the interwar period.


Associate Professor Flavia Marcello
Associate Professor of Architectural History, Swinburne University of Technology

Flavia is a world expert on the architecture and cultural production of the Italian Fascist period. She is a member of the Centre for Transformative Media Technologies and came to Swinburne in 2013 after a varied teaching career at Deakin and Melbourne Universities and Temple University's Rome Campus. She has also worked as Professional Development Manager at the Australian Institute of Architects and as Curriculum Development Consultant at Box Hill Institute.


While living and working in Rome she developed her expertise on the city and its 2000 + years of history, particularly in the architecture and urban planning of the Italian Fascist period. Her long-time interest in 1930s art and architecture was explored in her PhD (University of Sydney, 2003) and has continued to evolve throughout her academic career. Her areas of research include: exhibitions, architectural ephemera, spatial practice, the political uses of the Classical tradition, manifestations of fascist and anti-fascist ideology in monuments and public space. 


Her book Giuseppe Pagano. Design for Social Change in Fascist Italy was pubished with Intellect Press in January 2020. Most recently, she has been exploring the use of virtual reality as a method for architectural history. She teaches in the areas of design, history and theory with a particular focus on the inter-relationship between art and architecture, between design and health. She also conducts action research in the role of design to improve health outcomes. Design studios are used to explore new paradigms for aged care, in particular for people with dementia. She facilitates the 'Hit Submit', 'Draft don't Drift' and 'Grant It!' writing workshops with Simone Taffe and is a leader of the Career Development team within SWAN (Swinburne Women's Academic Network).

Constanza Robles Sepúlveda
Ph.D. Candidate, Boston University

Constanza is a Ph.D. Candidate in the History of Art and Architecture at Boston University. She received a B.A in Hispanic Literature and another in Aesthetics from Universidad Católica de Chile. She obtained a certificate in Cultural Management from the same university and an M.A. in Theory and History of Art from Universidad de Chile. Before moving to Boston with a Fulbright Scholarship, she served as Adjunct Professor at Universidad Católica, where she taught the history of modern art and cultural management. 

Her research focuses on Latin American art of the first half of the twentieth century, particularly on how the notions of Pan Americanism, Hispanism, and Latin Americanism are portrayed in world fairs. She is interested in how the built environment and visual culture of American pavilions articulated regional and hemispheric political, cultural, and economic alliances. She is currently writing her dissertation titled “Visualizing Alliances Through Art and Architecture: Pan Americanism, Hispanismo, and Latin Americanism in World Fairs, 1901-1929”

Constanza has presented her work at the 109th CAA Annual Conference (2021), the Symposium on the History of Art Presented by The Frick Collection and The Institute of Fine Arts of New York University (2022), and ISIE’s Inaugural Symposium. She has been recently awarded a Terra Foundation Travel Grant to research the 1922 Rio de Janeiro Centennial of Independence Exposition and the Helen G. Allen Humanities Award by the Boston University Center for the Humanities. In the Spring of 2023, she will serve as a fellow at The Wolfsonian—Florida International University Museum.

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Support Team

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Charles Pappas

Senior Writer for Exhibitor magazine

Charles Pappas has covered the exposition industry for Exhibitor magazine since 2002 and every world’s fair since 2010. His publications include Flying Cars, Zombie Dogs, and Robot Overlords, a probe of how world expos and trade fairs shaped history, and chapters in Expo 2020 Dubai: The Definitive Edition. Other books include One Giant Leap, a look at the inventions the space race brought us, and It’s a Bitter Little World, a revel in language of film noir. He was a consultant to Expo 2020 (and a regular feature of Expo 2020’s official podcast Inside Expo), speaker for the State Department in Dubai, and currently consults with the Expo 2027 effort in the US. His current research includes compiling information on buildings proposed but never constructed for world expos and examining Hollywood’s lost world’s fair of 1923.


Joseph Siml
BArch student, University of Arizona CAPLA

Joseph Siml is currently pursuing his undergraduate degree in architecture with a minor in sustainability. As a budding designer, he is interested in understanding how architecture is translated through imagery, particularly conceptual renderings. He is also a closet architectural history enthusiast who enjoys learning about past examples of exemplary design. 

Joseph helps manage the social media accounts of ISIE, which seek to connect the researchers of international expositions with each other to enrich scholarship. 


Dr Alison de Kruiff
Lecturer, Swinburne University of Technology

Alison de Kruiff is a lecturer and researcher in the School of Design and Architecture. She has a PhD in Design Research investigating the creation of Virtual Heritage, the 3D digitisation of cultural heritage sites and objects. She conducts research into user experience, information design and extended (virtual and augmented) reality, focusing on cultural and health needs of communities.

Alison de Kruiff teaches web design in the undergraduate design program and is the discipline coordinator of the UX Interaction Design major in the School of Design and Architecture at Swinburne University of Technology.

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