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Professor Etlin teaches architectural history from the Middle Ages to the modern era. His most recent teaching and research interests focus on (1) innovative structural principles of historical masonry architecture and their relationship to modern structural design and to structure in the natural world and (2) sustainable urbanism. He is currently the editor of the Encyclopedia of Religious Architecture of the World, a multi-volume reference work that will be published by Cambridge University Press. Professor Etlin is also preparing a critical edition of Louis Sullivan's Kindergarten Chats (1901-2).
Professor Etlin is the author of The Architecture of Death: The Transformation of the Cemetery in Eighteenth-Century Paris (MIT, 1984), Frank Lloyd Wright and Le Corbusier: The Romantic Legacy (Manchester, 1994, paper 1997), and In Defense of Humanism: Value in the Arts and Letters (Cambridge, 1996, paper 1998), as well as two other award-winning books. He received three accolades for his 1991 book Modernism in Italian Architecture, 1890-1940 (MIT): the 1991 Best New Book in Architecture and Planning Award from the American Association of Publishers, the 1992 Alice Davis Hitchcock Book Award for the most distinguished work of scholarship in the history of architecture published by a North American scholar, and an AIA International Architecture Book Award. Professor Etlin's Symbolic Space: French Enlightenment Architecture and Its Legacy (Chicago, 1994, paper 1996) also garnered an International Architecture Book Award from the AIA. In 1994-2006, he served as the series editor of "Modern Architecture and Cultural Identity" with Cambridge University Press. More recently he was the editor of Art, Culture, and Media under the Third Reich (Chicago, 2002). His fellowships include a Guggenheim Fellowship, Paul Mellon Senior Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art, Fulbright Fellowships for France and Italy, Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and a Fellowship in Landscape Architecture at Dumbarton Oaks-Harvard University. Professor Etlin is listed in Who's Who in the World (2000), The Writer's Directory (2000), and Contemporary Authors (1996).