History of Art and Architecture

Cecilia Muzika-Minteer


Cecilia Muzika-Minteer’s research centers on the intersection of sustainable development, extractive landscapes, and modern architecture and infrastructure in the in the latter half of the twentieth century. The striking junction of these factors in the Mediterranean Basin, and specifically in Morocco, is currently the focus of her dissertation project at the University of Pittsburgh. Cecilia engages with political discourse on global and local levels about sustainable development, decolonization, recolonization, the environmental and climate crises, modern design in public and private space and the infrastructure of extraction. She also has a strong interest in the meeting point of twentieth and twenty-first century utopias, conflict minerals, and embodied experience in space and landscape which helps to inform her study. In working with local organizations and individuals in Pittsburgh on issues of development, climate justice, and sustainable landscape practices she stays active with many of these issues on a local level. 

When studying at the University of Texas at Austin’s School of Architecture Cecilia focused on human-environment relationships and perceptions and community-centered sustainability through visions of organic architecture and planning during the twentieth century. Prior to her graduate studies, Cecilia’s work in museums, such as Fallingwater, and governmental organizations and bodies, like the Army Corps of Engineers and the United States Congress, helped shape her interests in the human environment, habitat and settlement as well as the legacy of colonialism in the built environment. Her experience in educational positions, primarily writing, researching and public speaking, focused on history, policy, nature and architecture which helped to shape her interests in pedagogy and historiography of the discipline as well as her dedication to interdisciplinarity.

Education Details

Ph.D. History of Art and Architecture, University of Pittsburgh (in progress)
Advisor: Christopher Drew Armstrong

M.A. Architectural History, The University of Texas at Austin (2019)
Advisor: Fernando Luiz Lara
Thesis: “Nature Identity and the Human Habitat: A Deep Ecological Examination of 20th Century Organic Community Design”

B.A. History, Westminster College (Pennsylvania) (2013)
Advisor: Russell Martin

Selected Publications

<p>[Forthcoming, fall 2023] “A Monumental Line in the Sand: Sustainable Development and Conflict from Bou Craa to the Coast.” (Conference Presentation, <em>The Third Ecology Conference</em>, Reykjavík, Iceland, October 11-13, 2023).</p> <p>“Dynamic Usonia: The Evolution of Wrightian Organic Principles for Community Sustainability.” In <em>Re-Imagining Resilient Productive Landscapes: Perspectives from Planning History</em>. Edited by Carla Brisotto and Fabiano Lemes de Olivrira, 181-98. Cham, Switzerland: Springer Nature, 2022.</p>

Selected Awards

Dietrich Summer Research Grant, University of Pittsburgh, 2023

Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences Pre-Doctoral Fellowship, 2022-2023