Current Institutional Affiliation
Postdoctoral Fellow, Architecture, Wake Forest University

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2016
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Art History/Architecture, Rice University
Agritectures of the Green Revolution: Art, Architecture and the Agrilogistics of Transnational Aid from the United States to the Caribbean Region, 1930-1978

Between 1930 and 1978, art, architecture and agriculture stood at the vanguard of a soft war waged by the Rockefeller Foundation in the broader Caribbean. Tracking activities of the International Program of the Museum of Modern Art and the Office of Inter-American Affairs, this dissertation analyses the art exhibitions and institutions involved in Nelson Rockefeller's cultural campaign to turn the heads of the Caribbean region's elite from France to the United States. Yet, the primary significance of this study emerges in bringing this same cultural agenda for the region together with the Rockefeller Foundation's transformation of the global food supply, achieved first in the broader Caribbean through advances in genetics and the unparalleled proliferation of agritecture (i.e., agricultural architecture) known as the Green Revolution. Interrogating the agritecture and ideology of Rockefeller's Green Revolution, born of the Mexican Agriculture Project, (MAP), the Colombian International Center for Tropical Agriculture, (CIAT), along with the Costa Rican Inter-American Institute of Agricultural Sciences, (IICA) side by side with the cultural agenda funded by Rockefeller, this dissertation asks: To what extent did Rockefeller's cultural diplomacy, prepared through the Office of Inter-American Affairs in the 1930s and 1940s, and the International Council of the MoMA in the 1950s and 60s, transform the viability of the Green Revolution? And, how did ideologies of human and nonhuman appropriability, reflected in the genetic experiments conducted within the laboratories of the MAP, CIAT and IICA, inform the architecture of the Green Revolution? Focusing on the Rockefeller Foundation's strategic appropriation of the so-called raw materials of the countryside, this dissertation argues that the longest-term implications of Cold War development in the broader Caribbean advanced by converting the rural built environment into the front line of modernization.