Miriam R. Levin
Professor of History and History of Art
Department of History, Case Western Reserve University
“City, Exposition, Museum in Modernity's Perspective”
At the close of the nineteenth century, industrialization and urbanization marked the end of the traditional understanding of society as rooted in agriculture. Paris was both the cultural capital of the 19th century and an international symbol of modernity. This lecture will discuss the efforts of Paris-based urban elites under two different political regimes to construct an urban-centered, industrial-based culture—an entirely new social reality based on science and technology. The synergy they created among expositions, urban rebuilding and museums provides the foundation for a new understanding of modernity’s history in which science and technology were constitutive.