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One historian two books : Beatriz Colomina’s historiographical approach in “privacy and publicity” and “domesticity at war”

Karamanoğlu, Sema
This thesis aims to explore selected works of Beatriz Colomina, a revisionist architectural historian who has made influential studies on visuality, domesticity, media and gender, and their reflections in the architectural world. Colomina is a distinguished architectural historian since she places a new lens on a period when architecture ceased to be only for the elite and media has gradually penetrated into everyone’s life in order to understand how architecture became accessible to the public through media and how this has affected the perception of modern architecture. This new lens entailed not only the inseparability of media and architecture but also how war and domesticity featured in this relationship. Against this background, this study attempts to investigate the innovative approach of Beatriz Colomina by comparing and contrasting her two prominent books: Privacy and Publicity: Modern Architecture as Mass Media (1994) and Domesticity at War (2007). The former introduces us to the relationship between architecture and media, whereas the latter exemplifies this relationship by focusing on the cold war period as a time where media became an integral part of the domestic environment. This study aims to extract Colomina’s contribution to architectural history by first disentangling and analysing and then merging these two books under common themes. In doing so, it seeks to answer the following questions: What is the role of archives in Colomina’s methodology in writing these two books? What is the relationship between the document and the historian that emerges from this methodology? What common themes can be extracted from these two books as an analytical framework in order to better understand and study Colomina’s approach? What differentiates her as a historian from other historians of modern architecture, specifically from Siegfried Giedion and Kenneth Frampton? What messages does Colomina give her reader through the form as well as the content of her books? What is her contribution to architectural historiography?