Professor Shanken's current work focuses on the intersection of architecture and consumer culture, memorials, and mid 20th-century architecture and urbanism. His first book, 194X, explores American architecture, planning, and consumer culture on the American home front. His second book explores the architecture of the 1939 world's fair in San Francisco, where modernist, Beaux-Arts, and regionalist architects made their peace on the 400 acre tabula rasa of Treasure Island. He is currently working on a book tentatively called The Everyday Life of Memorials. He continues to write extensively on issues of memory and the built environment and is interested in the ways in which buildings have been disengaged from the urban fabric as part of urban and heritage planning. At Berkeley he teaches general surveys of architectural history and specialized courses in the above areas of interest, in both Architecture and American Studies. Trained as an art historian at Princeton University, Professor Shanken is especially interested in the intersection of art, architecture, and urban history, as well as in the historiographical and methodological traditions in architectural history.
Research Expertise and Interest
memory, visionary architecture, the unbuilt, paper architecture, heritage conservation, architectural representation, urban representation, diagrams, history of professions, historiography, world's fairs, expositions, California architecture, themed environments