Juliana Maxim, PhD
Associate Professor, Art History and Architecture
Juliana Maxim, PhD, teaches the history and theory of art and architecture. Her work centers on 20th century art, architecture and urbanism in Eastern Europe and on the relation between representation and political regimes, as well as on the question of "other" modernisms. Her PhD dissertation, "The New, the Old, the Modern: Architecture and its Representation in Socialist Romania, 1955-1965" (MIT, 2006) examines how the architectural culture of postwar Romania sustained the regime's attempt to transform inhabitation and the city into a new collectivist environment.
PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, History, Theory and Criticism of Art and Architecture
MArts, Laval University, Canada; Art History
BArch, Laval University, Canada
Architecture and Architectural History studies, Istituto Universitario di Architettura, Venice, Italy
Scholarly and Creative Work
In her writings, Maxim addresses the ways in which political regimes give shape to cities and city life, by looking at the particular case of the reconstruction (and re-invention) of Bucharest by the socialist regime in postwar Romania. She poses the socialist city as a broad structure of signification, to which contribute buildings, but also artistic practices, photographic records, the use of technology, and the writing of historical narratives. The aim of the work is to illuminate at once the specific ways in which the city and its architecture are shaped by political constructs – and how architecture shapes them in return; but also to show that socialist aesthetic productions, long understood as anti-modernist, are in fact key to a revised and expanded definition of modernism.
In her classes, Maxim focuses on the relationships between aesthetic productions and political contexts. Most recently, she taught a class on Soviet art, in which students examined the various artistic (or anti-artistic) responses to the political changes that occurred between 1917 and 1950 in the Soviet Union. She regularly teaches classes on various aspects of European modernism. Recently, she has conceived and taught the “Methods” seminar for Art History majors.
Maxim is also interested in exploring new ways of teaching the art history survey. For example, her introductory course titled “The Year 1500: A History of Art and Architecture Around the Globe” replaces the teaching of art through time with an investigation of art through space at a particular historical moment. In so doing, the survey emphasizes thematic and stylistic relationships and cross-cultural influences, challenges the primacy of European artistic norms, and invites the students to experience the diversity and complexity of the definition of art in the age of exploration.