Aesthetic mechanisms of Stalinization in Romanian architecture : the case of Hunedoara, 1947-1954
While historians have approached the process of popular democracies’ absorption into the Soviet system at the end of the Second World War by stressing political and economic relations within the decision-making structures, the urban spaces produced during this interval, as sites of social interaction, remained under-researched. In Romania, the project conducted in Hunedoara between 1947 and 1954 illustrates the extent to which the Romanian communist state was aware of the urban space’s potential for social manipulation, as well as the strategies this authority undertook to employ politically the formative function of the built environment. The thesis revolves around three main questions: What did modernization mean for Romanian society by the end of World War II? To what degree did the attempts of Stalinization manage to impose on Romanian society the Soviet Union’s cultural values and principles? And how can studying urban architecture tell us more about these topics? Drawing on newspaper and archival materials, the thesis concludes that inside the communist system, the ability to define “modernity” much less bringing it into being, depended on whether political elites and the party could provide institutional unity and coherent decision-making.
DegreeMaster of Arts (M.A.)
CommitteeMeyers, Mark; Jordan, Pamela; Bell, Keith