Cambridge Talks: Post-Defense: Dissertation Research Beyond the PhD

Purple and orange poster with white text advertising the Cambridge Talks event.

Event Description

In “Post-Defense: Dissertation Research Beyond the PhD” the PhD program in Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Urban Planning takes a wide look at the topics and trajectories of PhD work at the GSD. Through presentations, roundtable and informal discussions, this year’s Cambridge Talks asks faculty, students, and alumni to reflect on the various stages of doctoral research and its afterlives beyond the PhD.

This event is open to HUID-holders in-person, and is open to the public via Zoom. Please use this link to register via Zoom.


Day 1 – March 28:

1:30 – 3:30 Graduate Student Presentations (Gund 109)

This session brings together four PhD students who will describe aspects of their doctoral work

  • Christina Shivers
  • Caroline Filice Smith
  • Samira Daneshvar
  • Romain David

4:00 – 5:30 Round Table Discussion (Piper)

This faculty conversation will reflect on the history, evolution, and impact of the PhD program at the GSD

  • Dean Sarah Whiting
  • Diane Davis
  • Ed Eigen
  • Erika Naginski
  • Moderation by Program Director Antoine Picon

Day 2 – March 29:

The speakers’ sessions will explore key publications and their intellectual development from pre to post PhD

2:00-3:30 – Panel 1 (Gund 124)

  • Sun-Young Park (GSD PhD ‘14)
  • Christina Crawford (GSD PhD ‘16)

4:00-5:30 – Panel 2 (Gund 124)

  • Matthew Lasner (GSD PhD ‘07)
  • Christina Crawford, Matthew Lasner, and Sun-Young Park in conversation


Sun-Young Park is an Associate Professor in the Department of History and Art History at George Mason University. She is a scholar of 19th-century France who studies the intersections of architectural, urban, and medical history. She is the author of Ideals of the Body: Architecture, Urbanism, and Hygiene in Postrevolutionary Paris (published by the University of Pittsburgh Press in 2018), and is currently working on a new book project titled The Architecture of Disability in Modern France. Sun-Young received a BA from Princeton University, and an MArch and PhD from Harvard University. Her work has been supported by the American Council of Learned Societies, National Endowment for the Humanities, Graham Foundation, and Society of Architectural Historians, among others.

Christina E. Crawford is an architectural and urban historian, a trained architect, and assistant professor of architectural history at Emory University, whose research focuses on the transnational exchange of ideas about housing and urban form in the twentieth century. Her research and publications have been supported by the American Council of Learned Societies, the Getty Foundation, the Graham Foundation, and the College Art Association, among other institutions. She is the author of Spatial Revolution: Architecture and Planning in the Early Soviet Union (Cornell University Press, 2022), and co-editor of Detroit-Moscow-Detroit: An Architecture for Industrialization, 1917-1945 (MIT Press, 2023). Christina’s new research explores interwar exchanges of housing expertise between the US and Europe, using Atlanta as a primary node. She serves on the board of the Society of Historians of Eastern European, Eurasian and Russian Art and Architecture.

Matt Lasner is associate professor of urban studies and planning at Hunter College, where he teaches courses on U.S. and global urbanism, housing, and the built environment. He has written widely on the culture, politics, and design of twentieth-century U.S. housing. He is author of the award-winning High Life: Condo Living in the Suburban Century, a history of co-ops, condominiums, and townhouse complexes in New York, D.C., Chicago, Miami, and L.A., and co-editor of Affordable Housing in New York: The People, Places, and Policies That Transformed a City. He is currently writing two books: “Apartment: Making Homes Together in Postwar America,” about private multifamily housing, and “The Communitarians: Bay Area Architects and the Quest to Rehouse America,” about progressive community planning. He is also a founding editor of the Web journal PLATFORM. In addition to his PhD in architecture, he holds a master’s degree in urban and regional planning studies from the London School of Economics.

Anyone requiring accessibility accommodations should contact the Public Programs Office at (617) 496-2414 or [email protected].