Research Programs: Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars

Period of Performance

1/1/2005 - 10/31/2005

Funding Totals

$40,000.00 (approved)
$40,000.00 (awarded)

University Campuses and Workers' Housing as Reflections of Modern National Identity in Mexico and Venezuela, 1940-1960

FAIN: FB-52151-05

Susana Torre
Unaffiliated Independent Scholar (New York, NY 10012)

Between 1944 and 1960, oil revenues permitted Mexico and Venezuela to construct campuses and workers’ multi-family housing in their capitals. Alemán, president of Mexico 1944-1950, and Pérez Jiménez, dictator of Venezuela 1950-1958, sought to co-opt two key sectors for their hold on power: the elite and the poor. For the presidents and their architects, these projects were potent symbols of modern national identity, but the results were startlingly different. For Mexico, this meant emphasizing its history of mestizaje; for Venezuela, to be counted as equal among developed nations. This comparative study will examine how contrasting politics, architectural regionalism, and concepts of national identity shaped these different outcomes.