Bryan E. Norwood is a PhD candidate in the history and theory of architecture at Harvard University and is the 2016 Charles E. Peterson Senior Fellow at the Athenaeum of Philadelphia. His dissertation, entitled “The Architect’s Knowledge: Imagining the Profession’s Historical Body, 1797-1933,” is a study of the development of professionalized architectural knowledge through the formalization of architectural education in nineteenth-century America. Focusing on the key role the conceptualization of architectural history played in the formation of the discipline and profession, Bryan’s dissertation explores the ethics of the hermeneutic relation of architecture to its own past.
Bryan previously received a BA in philosophy and a BArch from Mississippi State University, an MA in philosophy from Boston University, and an AM in architecture from Harvard. He has taught lecture and seminar courses in architectural history and theory at the GSD, Northeastern University, and Boston University. In addition to his dissertation, Bryan’s recent research includes the architectural implications of speculative realism and object-oriented ontology, the history of flood control on the Mississippi River, mid-century modern architecture in Boston, and the architectural historiography of plantation houses in the Lower Mississippi Valley. His writing has appeared in Philosophical Forum, Harvard Design Magazine, Culture Machine, Log, and MONU, as well as collected volumes on Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Gilles Deleuze.