Université de Strasbourg

Tijana Vujosevic


School of Design, University of Western Australia, Australia & USIAS Fellow at the Laboratory “Image, City, Environment”, University of Strasbourg

Tijana Vujosevic, USIAS Fellow 2018

Dr. Tijana Vujosevic received her Bachelor of Architecture and Master of Architecture degrees from Yale University in 2002 and her PhD in Architectural History from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2010. She worked as a Teaching Fellow at Yale and MIT over the course of her studies. Upon earning a PhD, she took the post of Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Virginia, where she taught in 2010-2011. Since 2012 she has held the position of Assistant Professor at the University of Western Australia’s School of Design, where she teaches the history of the built environment.

Her scholarship has been funded by a number of grants, which include the MIT Presidential Fellowship, The Gerda Henkel Foundation PhD Fellowship, International Fellowship of the American Institute of University Women and others. Vujosevic is member of the Editorial Board of the Architectural Theory Review and a founding member of the international organisation Art and Architecture History Assembly. She has recently delivered invited talks at Bard College, University of California in Los Angeles, ETH Zurich, the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, and the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz.

The main area of Tijana Vujosevic’s research is the history of modernism in art, architecture and planning, with a special focus on the Soviet Union and communist countries. Her articles have appeared in Grey Room, Journal of Design History, Architectural Histories, Slavic and Eastern European Journal, among others. Her first research monograph, Modernism and the Making of the Soviet New Man, has just come out with Manchester University Press.

Project - Communism, internationalism, nature - A Cold War history of environmental representation

December 2018 - November 2020

In today’s political landscape, there is a direct link between environmentalism and cosmopolitanism – the sense that the world is a community of countries with the same ethical imperative, that the protection and study of the environment is a global and international issue. The proposed project will examine a significant but overlooked historical case in which nature and global politics were intricately linked – the discourse on the environment in the Second World during the Cold War. This is the first study to look at the specifically communist understanding of nature and the link between the socialist ethos and the ethos of environmentalism. It is also the first study that looks at the role of nature as a key symbol in 20th century geopolitics.

During the Cold War, the Second World (Soviet Union, Eastern Block, Yugoslavia) replaced the notion of “proletarian internationalism” with “socialist internationalism”, trying to establish ties with recently de-colonised African and Asian countries with the aim of mobilising against the West. The discourse on nature and environment played a key role in this project. The protection of nature, the transformation of landscapes and study of the environment began to symbolise, for socialists, the capacity to understand, unite, transform and protect the world. This project will provide a unique perspective on politics in the Second and Third World of the Cold War. More broadly, it will point to the links between ideology and representations of the environment.

Recent scholarship addresses the economic and political aspects of “socialist internationalism”. This project contributes to the study of socialist internationalism by looking at the role that representations of nature and the environment played in the internationalist project as political symbols. It will explore three key areas in which the discourse on socialist internationalism and that on the environment converged – collections of “global” flora and fauna; large-scale planning initiatives in the Second and Third World which involved transforming landscapes; the science of human “species”. In these three domains, nature figured as a representation of the power to unite the world and protect it; the power to transform it; and the power to represent it.

Tijana Vujosevic will be welcomed by Professor Dominique Badariotti at the Laboratory “Image, City, Environment” during her time in Strasbourg spent on the project.


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