Monthly Archives: 04/2019

Architecture and the Cult of Apology

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Congratulations to Architecture PhD Candidate and GUH Student Valentina Rozas-Krause for receiving the Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship for 2019-2020. The fellowship is awarded to 65 doctoral candidates annually and supports one year of research and writing to help advanced graduate students in the humanities and social sciences in their last year of PhD dissertation writing. 

Rozas-Krause will be using her fellowship to complete her dissertation titled Architecture and the Cult of Apology. Read the abstract below to learn more about her research:

In 2004, when Argentina’s president apologized for the state’s crimes committed during the last military dictatorship (1976-83), he also inaugurated a new memorial. Fixing his words in stone, he expropriated a 42-acre lot from the Navy to transform it into a ‘memory campus.’ Memorials like this one embody more than memory: they are built as symbols of remorse or reparation. This dissertation traces this emerging phenomenon by examining the ‘cult of apology’ through its global manifestation in memorials. The ‘cult of apology’ offers a critical lens to analyze how in the last decades these two previously separate phenomena—the boom of memorials and the rise of apologies—have become intertwined. Examining five representative case studies in Berlin, Buenos Aires, and San Francisco, the dissertation builds an empirical and theoretical understanding on multiple aspects of apology and memorialization, the actors involved in it, the material forms that it takes, and the diverse effects that it produces.



(left) Topography of Terror in Berlin; (right) ESMA Site Museum in Buenos Aires