Annual Alumni Lecture 2018

Niagara Falls and Beyond: Values and Dynamic Tensions
Dr Susan Storey

Thursday, 18 October 2018
Theatre O, Newman Building, UCD, Belfield, Dublin 4




Dr Susan Storey is an alumna of the School. Having undertaken her BA at UCD she continued her Art History studies as a postgraduate completing the MA before pursuing her doctoral research on the topic of Buffalo's Gilded Age: a story of architecture and landscape design. She was awarded her PhD in 2017.

Lecture Abstract: Niagara Falls provides the best example in nineteenth-century America of a remarkable juxtaposition of nature and technology: sometimes in tension, sometimes hand in hand. In nineteenth century America, the cultural landscape of Niagara Falls became identified with tourism and technology, progress and industrial development. The tension between the love of nature and its exploitation through progress and technology is the ideal lens through which to interpret the most prominent elements of the region’s cultural landscape. These tensions played out between business interests and industrial capitalists who fuelled rapid industrial exploitation of the falls and conservationists who sought to preserve the scenery for future generations. Niagara is equally important as the site of the development and transmission of long-distance electrical power, which transformed the built environment in nearby Buffalo. The story of the Niagara region over a period of almost four decades reveals diverse practices, buildings, and landscape manifesting in major social, ideological, and economic forces of the day. The Niagara region tells a story that is local, regionally expressive and culturally specific to nineteenth century America.

UCD School of Art History and Cultural Policy Development Fund

Launched in 2018, the Develpment Fund is intended to support the research of qualifying fourth level students in the School as they pursue their academic goals, enabling them to further explore, through their research, the world of art and cultural policy both at home and abroad.