Fellowship

Buell Graduate Fellowships are annual awards available to Columbia University students for historical research on the built environment, including but not limited to architecture, urbanism, landscape, and the building sciences.

Buell Center Research and Teaching Fellowships are intended to give recently graduated postdoctoral fellows a chance to advance their own research, gain teaching experience, and take part in the ongoing intellectual life of the Buell Center, the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation (GSAPP), and Columbia University—over the course of twenty-one months (two academic years and one intervening summer). Fellows will be co-hosted by the Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities.

Prize

Annually between 2017 and 2020, three prizes were awarded to students at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation whose fall semester architectural design (MArch & AAD) studio projects most successfully complied with, interpreted, and/or critically extended the terms and spirit of the 2015 Paris Agreement. 

Columbia University’s Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture together with the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, calls for course proposals on the theme of “Architecture, Climate Change, and Society.”

The Catherine Hoover Voorsanger Writing Prizes were generously endowed by Voorsanger and Associates, Architects. Each prize was given at the end of the academic year for an outstanding paper on a subject in American architecture, landscape or urbanism written during the academic year. One prize was awarded to a student in the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation; the other was to awarded to a graduate student in the Department of Art History or to an undergraduate at Columbia or Barnard College for a senior thesis. Each prize carried an honorarium of $250.

Buell Postdoctoral Fellowship

Buell Center Research and Teaching Fellowships are intended to give recently graduated postdoctoral fellows a chance to advance their own research, gain teaching experience, and take part in the ongoing intellectual life of the Buell Center, the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation (GSAPP), and Columbia University—over the course of twenty-one months (two academic years and one intervening summer). Fellows will be co-hosted by the Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities.

Buell Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2025–27

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The Buell Center at Columbia University seeks a recent doctoral recipient to join its intellectual community for a 21-month fellowship as a “Buell Center Research and Teaching Fellow.” Ideal candidates will be scholars of the built environment who are beginning an academic career of research and teaching, with a growing record of original writing intended for peer-reviewed publication. Complementary experience, such as design, curatorial, critical, or fourth-purpose organizing work, is welcome but not required.

The 21-month fellowship will begin on September 1, 2025, and is intended to give fellows a chance to advance their own research, gain teaching experience, and take part in the ongoing intellectual life of the Buell Center; the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation (GSAPP); and Columbia University. The Fellow will be co-hosted by the Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities. A recent PhD degree in Architecture or a related field is required by the start date of the appointment. PhDs granted within the last three years prior to the appointment start date are acceptable.

Successful candidates:

  • must have a PhD conferred within three years of—and no later than—the start date of the appointment
  • must demonstrate an interest in pushing the disciplinary or methodological norms of architecture and related fields of the built environment
  • should have a growing record of bridging across disciplines in the humanities or social sciences
  • may be focused on any historical period and geographic area in their research

The Fellow is expected to be in residence at Columbia for two academic years and will remain a Fellow in the intervening summer, but not required to be in residence. In addition to presenting their research once yearly in a formal setting, Fellows will teach at least one semester as faculty in GSAPP’s architectural history survey course, “Questions in Architectural History” (QAH). The Fellow may also propose to teach a separate course within GSAPP based on their own research.

Interested applicants should submit: a CV; a cover letter; a research statement (1,500 words), dissertation abstract (150 words), one-sentence project description, one to three images (on one page); a teaching statement (500 words); at least one writing sample; and the names of three references. Recommendation letters will be solicited for shortlisted applicants.

The salary of the finalist selected for this role will be set based on a variety of factors, including but not limited to departmental budgets, qualifications, experience, education, licenses, specialty, and training. $75,000 represents the University’s good faith and reasonable estimate of possible compensation at the time of posting. Columbia University is an Equal Opportunity Employer / Disability / Veteran.

The Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture is a separately endowed entity within Columbia GSAPP, which sponsors interdisciplinary research through projects, workshops, public programming, publications, and awards. For further information about the Buell Center, please visit buellcenter.columbia.edu and/or reach out to [email protected].

Please visit our online application site at https://academic.careers.columbia.edu/#!/141996 for further information about this position and to submit your application. Review of applications will begin on October 1, 2024.

 

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Graphic design by MTWTF

Buell Postdoctoral Fellow, 2024–26

 

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Sonali Dhanpal
2024-26 Buell Research and Teaching Fellow

Project: “Caste and the City”

While at the Buell, Dhanpal will draw from her dissertation to work on “Caste and the City: Spatial Politics in Colonial and Princely Bangalore,” a project that examines the persistence of caste in urban South Asia. Destabilizing the myth of monolithic colonial rule in the Indian subcontinent, the book will offer a close spatial analysis of a princely capital city, Bangalore, in the critical decades between 1880 and 1920. Far from disappearing, caste power hardened onto new regimes of property, labor, and control. By focusing on housing and on land reform that came after pressure mounted for the exhibition of monumental colonial/princely power, the study shows how rentier capital materialized caste in built form by analyzing the third plague pandemic, the rise of urban landed castes in state politics, and missionaries as unlikely Dalit salvationists. Dhanpal will also begin work on her second project, “Empire Comes Home: Housing Race Relations in Britain,” which intends to bring colonial legacies of the welfare state into conversation with the vast scholarship on the architect-planners who led the postwar construction boom in Britain (1950-1980). 

Dhanpal will begin at Columbia on September 1, 2024. As part of the Buell Fellowship, she will join a cohort of fellows at the The Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities, as well as the faculty team teaching the GSAPP’s landmark course, “Questions in Architectural History.”

 

Biography
Sonali Dhanpal is an architect, a built heritage conservationist, and a historian of modern architecture and urbanism who specializes in histories of colonialism, capitalism, and inequality from the 1800s to the present. She earned a Bachelor’s in Architecture from the Dayananda Sagar School of Architecture, an M.A. in Conservation Studies from the University of York, and a PhD in Architectural History and Theory from Newcastle University. Her research has been supported by a number of awards and fellowships, including from the Institute of Historical Research at the School of Advanced Studies, University of London; the Paul Mellon Centre for British Art; the Society of Architectural Historians; and the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain. Her work has appeared in the journal Planning Perspectives and the edited volume New Planning Histories.

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The Superintendent's Bungalow that operated as the Headquarters of the Mysore Mines, Dec 1894. Picture Courtesy: LLewlyn Hancock, Clare Arni/Henry Martin Collection.

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The ‘princely’ ruled Bangalore City while the “British” controlled the Civil and Military. Courtesy: P.R Cadwell, Report on the Outbreak of Plague in the Civil and Military Station, Bangalore 1898-99India Office Records, The British Library.

Buell Postdoctoral Fellow, 2023–25

 

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Maura Lucking
2024-25 Buell Research and Teaching Fellow

Project: “Settler Campus”

While a Buell Fellow, Lucking will work on a book-length architectural history of the public college movement in the 19th century United States. The project is based on her dissertation, “Settler Campus: Racial Uplift, Free Labor, and Land Tenure in American Design Education, 1866-1929,” which examines three school typologies—the land grant college, the industrial institute, and the Indian boarding school—through a settler colonial framework. Lucking innovatively shows the role played by architecture, industrial design, and design pedagogy in rights-based legal outcomes for various racialized groups that were educated in these institutions. By emphasizing students’ self-sufficiency and manual labor, and often by involving them in campus construction projects, architectural education aligned design outcomes with narratives of respectability, freedom, and individual property. Lucking uncovers the links between this school-building habitus and social and economic ideals, from the immediate aftermath of the US Civil War, when social cohesion was understood to be under threat, into the 20th Century when educational models were exported to new geographies in Liberia and the Philippines.

Lucking will begin at Columbia on January 1, 2024. As part of the Buell Fellowship, she will join a cohort of fellows at the Society of Fellows/Heyman Center, as well as the faculty team teaching the landmark course, “Questions in Architectural History” at GSAPP.


Biography  
Maura Lucking is an historian of architectural modernism and empire in the 19th- and 20th-Century United States. She received her PhD in Architecture from UCLA in 2023, and is currently Assistant Professor of Architecture at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. Her work has been supported by the Winterthur Museum, Huntington Library, Graham Foundation, the Society for Architectural Historians, and the Getty Research Institute, and been published in Grey Room, Getty Research Journal, Thresholds, Faktur, and Journal of Architectural Education.
 

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Students and instructors in a staged publicity photograph for donors to Tuskegee Institute, 1909 (LOC)