Research Team

Kathleen James-Chakraborty

Principal Investigator

Kathleen James-Chakraborty is a historian of modern architecture.  She is Professor of Art History at UCD.  She has previously taught at the University of Minnesota and at the University of California Berkeley and been a visiting guest professor at the Ruhr Universität Bochum and the Yale School of Architecture.  Her books include German Architecture for a Mass Audience (Routledge, 2000), Architecture since 1400 (Minnesota, 2014) and Modernism as Memory: Building Identity in the Federal Republic of Germany (Minnesota 2018), as well as the edited collections Bauhaus Culture from Weimar to the Cold War (Minnesota, 2006) and India in Art in Ireland (Routledge, 2016).  She was awarded the 2018 gold medal in the humanities from the Royal Irish Academy, the first woman to be so honoured.

George Francis-Kelly

Postdoctoral Researcher

Geroge is a graduate of the University of Sheffield, received my PhD from the University of Leeds in 2020, and has previously been a Lecturer in American History at the University of Aberdeen. His research revolves around histories of race, space, and protest, thinking about how our identities shape and are shaped by the built environment around us. George is presently writing his first monograph exploring how African American and Latinx communities fought to claim space and control development. His role in the Expanding Agency project is to consider the architecture of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) across the twentieth century, and explore how global networks shaped the production and uses of buildings on these campuses.

Nokubekezela Mchunu

PhD Researcher

Nokubekezela is an architectural researcher and designer from Johannesburg, South Africa where she graduated with a professional Masters in Architecture M.Arch (Prof.) from the University of the Witwatersrand. Her research interests concern history and cultural hermeneutics as informants to contemporary spatial practices in post-democratic Southern Africa for more inclusive and transformational policy. She has experience in lecturing and conducting academic and practice-based research in respect to these themes. She is currently researching practices related to the constitution of African architectural archival practices.

Pooja Sastry

PhD Researcher

Pooja Sastry is trained as an urban planner from the Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology in Ahmedabad, India. Her past work experience includes transit-oriented development, heritage-based economic development, policy and regulatory frameworks, public-sector stakeholder management, and watershed analysis using GIS-based data. Her areas of interest are feminist public policy and technological futures.

Jenny Devine

Project Coordinator

With a background in Art and Architectural History and French Literature, Jenny has worked across the arts and research sectors in Paris, London and Dublin. She has worked in arts funding and development and more recently as an evaluator and coordinator for EU-funded projects in the arts and sciences. She is delighted to be back in the Art History department as coordinator of the ‘Expanding Agency’ project.

Weronika Kocurkiewicz

Research Assistant

Weronika Kocurkiewicz is a research assistant with Expanding Agency. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in History of Art and Architecture from Trinity College Dublin. In 2022 she graduated with a Master’s degree in Cultural Policy and Arts Management from University College Dublin. Her research interests include the impact of arts and culture on shaping our identities, museum practices related to promoting cultural heritage, as well as contemporary issues surrounding social justice. 

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