University of Virginia
Shantytowns and intangible heritage across the Mediterranean preservation in an era of planetary urbanization
Weinberg Fellow in Architectural History and Preservation
Sheila Crane is associate professor and chair of the Architectural History Department at the University of Virginia. Her research examines the history and theory of modern architecture and urbanism, with a particular interest in cities in France, North Africa and the Mediterranean region. Her book Mediterranean Crossroads: Marseille and Modern Architecture (University of Minnesota Press, 2011) received the 2013 Spiro Kostof Book Award from the Society of Architectural Historians. Recent essays have appeared in City and Society, Space and Culture, and The Journal of Architecture, as well as in edited volumes, including Use Matters: An Alternative History of Architecture, edited by Kenny Cupers (Routledge, 2013) and Otherwise Occupied: Bashir Makhoul, Aissa Deebi, edited by Ryan Bishop and Gordon Hon (Palestinian Art Court-al Hoash, 2013). Her current book project, Inventing Informality, traces the emergence and migrations of the bidonville (shantytown) between the Maghreb and France, from the late 1920s through the 1970s. With reference to constructed landscapes and land rights, maps and urban plans, administrative records and sociological surveys, oral histories and literary descriptions, the bidonville is examined as an urban landscape, object of reengineering, site of knowledge production, and place of socio-spatial reinvention by residents. She is currently the book reviews editor for Europe, Africa, and Asia from 1750 for the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians.