Assistant Professor, Landscape Architecture
Maria C. Taylor is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture at Cornell University.
As an interdisciplinary scholar and historian of North America and the “Second World,” she examines how culture, urbanism, modernization, and professional design practice mutually influence society-nature relations in the modern era. Her current research and writing focuses in particular on the transnational history of urban greening, industrialization, and environmental politics, particularly in Siberia, Central Asia, and other regions of the then Soviet Union. By bringing insights about Soviet and socialist cities and environmental relations into conversations that have historically foregrounded First World examples, this work contributes to a larger cross-disciplinary project of recognizing diverse, global histories of modernity and place-making.
Taylor has presented papers at national and international conferences including the Society of Architectural Historians, the American Society of Environmental Historians, the Society of American City and Regional Planning Historians, and the Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies. In 2022-23 she was a Princeton-Mellon Fellow in Architecture, Urbanism and the Humanities, after previously having taught landscape history and urban planning at the University of Washington College of Built Environments in Seattle. Her research has also been supported by the Fulbright IIE program, a Mellon Fellowship in Urban Landscapes at the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library in Washington, D.C., and the Social Science Research Council DPDF and IDRF grants.
Taylor’s current book manuscipt, Civic Engineering: The Soviet Dream of Green Cities examines the history of urban environmental design, greening, and environmental politics in the USSR, focusing on the mutual influence of urbanism, modernism, and environmentalism from the 1930s through the 1960s. Her teaching interests include the history of global and North American landscape design and urban planning; the history and theory of industrial and post-industrial site design/remediation; the art, material culture and everyday politics of the Cold War; international and US environmental history (particularly of the Rockies and intermountain West), and spatial history/cartography.
- “To Eradicate the Vestiges:” Ivan Nikolaev and the Green Reconstruction of Soviet Factories, 1933-1938” in Detroit–Moscow–Detroit: An Architecture for Industrialization, 1917–1945, edited by Jean-Louis Cohen, Christina C. Crawford and Claire Zimmerman. MIT Press, 2023.
- “Green Infrastructure or Civic Engineering?” Roundtable: Rethinking the Urban Landscape. Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians September 2022; 81(3): 268–298.
history/theory of landscape design, planning, architecture
climate justice and hazard mitigation
comparative and transnational
urban environmental history
Soviet and post-Soviet studies
ecosystem services, city-nature relations
Awards & Honors
- Princeton-Mellon Fellowship in Architecture, Urbanism and the Humanities, Princeton 2022-23
- Climate and Environmental Justice Faculty Institute, UW Seattle, Winter 2022
- Distinguished Dissertation Award in Architecture, Taubman College, University of Michigan, 2019
- Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship in Urban Landscape Studies, Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Washington D.C., Spring 2018
- SSRC: Mellon International Dissertation Research Fellowship, Social Science Research Council (SSRC), 2014
- Fulbright IIE, Research Fellowship to Russia, 2013–14
- Rackham International Research Award, University of Michigan, 2013
- SSRC: Dissertation Proposal Development Fellowship (field: Ecological History), 2012
Fall: LA 6910 Design of Landscapes: Land and Water Relations in the Long Modern
TBD Advanced Research Seminar: Comparative Afforestation
Spring: LA 6940 Special Topics: Second World Urbanism — Landscape Infrastructures
LA 4020-502 Senior Studio (with Martin Hogue)
444 Kennedy Hall
Ithaca, New York 14853
mtaylor [at] cornell.edu
Ph.D in Architecture (History/Theory), University of Michigan
Master of Landscape Architecture, University of Washington (Seattle)
M.A. in Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies, Stanford University
A.B. in the Growth and Structure of Cities; Mathematics. Bryn Mawr College
Maria in the news
- Landscape Architecture