Areas of Concentration: Cultural history of 18th-19th century European architecture with an emphasis on German lands, the work and historiography of Karl Friedrich Schinkel, theory and historiography of architecture
Faculty Advisor: Richard Wittman
Committee Members: E. Bruce Robertson, Swati Chattopadhyay
Dissertation: "The Bureaucracy of Empire: Karl Friedrich Schinkel and Rhenish Church Architecture, 1815-40"
M.A. Thesis: "'This Charming Symmetry of Contradictions': The Arabesque and the Emerging Bourgeois Family in Philipp Otto Runge's Fall of the Fatherland (1809)," completed 2012
Laura diZerega is a fifth-year combined M.A./Ph.D. student and a 2014-15 recipient of a University of California Dean’s Fellowship. She specializes in European architectural history of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries with an concentration on Germany. Her minor field is the architecture of Viceregal Mexico (1521-1821). Laura is interested in Karl Friedrich Schinkel, the politics of architecture in the Prussian Rhineland, nineteenth-century ecclesiastical architecture, the intersection between public architecture, bureaucracy, and the rise of the modern nation state, and the architectural impact of the Napoleonic period in German lands. Her dissertation examines the administration of ecclesiastical architecture in the Prussian Rhineland under Karl Friedrich Schinkel from 1815-40.
Laura received the UCSB’s Margaret Mallory Award for Best Master’s Thesis (2013), the Graduate Committee Award (2013), and the Chairperson’s Award (2014). In 2012-13, she served as Co-Chair of the UCSB Art History Graduate Student Association and in 2013-14, she co-organized UCSB’s 39th Graduate Symposium Documents of Culture/Documents of Barbarism. Laura has presented her research at the UCSB Graduate Symposium (April 2011), the Kunsthistorisches Institut Florence (September 2012), and the Society of Art Historians of Great Britain Graduate Research Forum (April 2015). She worked as a research fellow at the Art, Design & Architecture Museum of UC Santa Barbara and contributed catalog entries to the publication Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot at the Westmont-Ridley Tree Museum of Art (Spring 2013). Laura earned her bachelor’s degree with distinction in German language and literature from Wells College, graduating summa cum laude with election to Phi Beta Kappa.