Lecturer and Mellon Research Fellow
Society of Fellows in the Humanities, Columbia University
María González Pendás received her PhD in Architecture History and Theory from Columbia University. Trained as an architect and a historian, González Pendás explores the intersections of spatial and building practices with processes of political, technological, and religious modernization during the twentieth century. Her research more particularly weaves together the history of modern architecture with the politics of fascism, Catholicism, and development across the Spanish postcolonial world. Her current book manuscript, Holy Modern: A Spatial History of Fascism, Catholicism, and Technocracy at Mid-Century, examines these dynamics in the context of the regime of Francisco Franco, a dictatorship that serves as a unique sense into the ideological reconfiguration of fascism in the context of the Cold War—a reconfiguration here revealed through designs of, and historical narratives about the built environment. Her next project considers the broader history of the impact of Catholicism on the development of building technologies, architectural labor, and modernist aesthetics in the Iberian world, what follows from her research and publications on the socioeconomics of concrete shell construction in México and on the relationship between architecture and exile in the structural designs of Félix Candela. Her work has received the support of the Fulbright Commission, the Temple Hoyne Buell Center and the Graham Foundation, among others, and has appeared in both English and Spanish in journals like Grey Room and Bitacora and publications including Architecture of Great Expositions 1937-1958 and Latin American Modern Architectures: Ambiguous Territories.