The Institute for the Study of International Expositions was founded in 2021 as an international hub for scholars and enthusiasts alike. Its broad influence is made possible through the support of a global network of architects, historians, collectors, and social scientists, but the Institute has been headed by the same core team since its inception.
Lisa D. Schrenk is an associate professor of Architectural History at the University of Arizona. She received a B.A. from Macalester College with degrees in studio art and geography, 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. She has previously taught at the University of New Mexico, the University of Minnesota, Montana State University, the University of California, Davis, and during the previous ten years in the School of Architecture and Art at Norwich University. 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 having 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 2008 List of Outstanding Academic Titles and receiving a Fulbright award to study sustainably development in Brazil. In 2008 she was awarded a We the People grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for her research on the Oak Park studio of architect Frank Lloyd Wright, which she began while serving as Education Director for the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio Foundation.
Dr. Schrenk has been a participant in several NEH and East-West Center enrichment programs on Asian culture. During the summer of 2009 she was a member of a delegation of 14 university educators from the United States and Southeast Asia that traveled to China as guests of the Chinese Ministry of Education. During the spring 2015 semester she taught courses on global architecture, sacred spaces, and urbanism as a faculty member on an around-the-world Semester at Sea voyage.
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.
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).