The Rise of the ‘Technocelebrity’. Le Corbusier and W. Gropius

The research groups Modernity and Society (MoSa), History, Theory and Criticism of Architecture (HTCA) (both KU Leuven) and the
research centre for Architectural History, Theory and Criticism (hortence) of the Faculty of Architecture La Cambre-Horta (ULB) are looking
for a candidate for a fully funded 4 year PhD position in the framework of the project: ‘The Rise of the ‘Technocelebrity’. The Politics of
Social Expertise in the Public Careers of Le Corbusier and Walter Gropius’. The project brings together expertise from modern history,
history of architecture and media history in order to explore the relation of experts and celebrity in the 20th century through the cases of two
exemplary architects.
The successful candidate will be based at MoSa and the department of history of KU Leuven. KU Leuven is consistently ranked among the
top research universities in Europe. It is located in the center of the historic town of Leuven. About 30 km from Brussels and two hours away
from Paris, London and Amsterdam, it has a strong international appeal. It also has a rich history and a unique friendly atmosphere, with a
great range of museums, concert halls and other cultural hot spots. For more information, visit the program website.

The successful candidate will research modernist architects Le Corbusier and Walter Gropius as ‘Technocelebrities’ (TC). The project
assumes that Le Corbusier and Gropius as TCs turned into social and political key figures through bundling strands of discourse that had
previously not been connected and that the media and the public played an active role in shaping these TCs in a phase of accelerated
technological and social change between the 1920s and 1960s. The project will question how democratic the phenomenon of TC was, how
to position the phenomenon in the ‘age of extremes’ and the Cold War specifically and how it was gendered. It will do so by data mining
different (mass) media but also through intense archival research on both architects and their networks.

Candidates should submit the following documents: Motivation letter / Curriculum vitae (in English or Dutch), list of publications (if available)
and the names and e-mail addresses of two referees.
For more information please contact Prof. dr. Martin Kohlrausch, tel.: +32 16 32 49 76, mail:
You can apply for this job no later than 28 February, 2022 via the online application tool.

More information can be found here.

Share this post

News from the field

On the Traces of Misery

“Miserabilia” investigates spaces and spectres of misery in the imagination and reality of the contemporary Italian urban context. The main objective is the definition of tools for the recognition and investigation of the tangible and intangible manifestations of...