Researchers at UCD


Kathleen James-Chakraborty

Full Professor

School Of Art History & Cultural Policy
Newman Building
Dublin 4

Tel: +353 1 7168148


Kathleen James-Chakraborty has been Professor of Art History at UCD since 2007.  From 2007 to 2010 she served as Head of the UCD School of Art History and Cultural Policy.  A graduate of Yale, James-Chakraborty earned her doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania.  She has taught at the University of Minnesota, at the University of California Berkeley, where she was promoted to full professor in the department of architecture, and at the Ruhr University Bochum, where she was a Mercator guest professor.  She spent the autumn semesters of 2015 and 2016 at the Yale School of Architecture as the Vincent Scully Visiting Professor of Architectural History.  Elected to the Royal Irish Academy in 2011, she is currently on the board of the Chester Beatty Library and of the National Museum of Ireland.  She was from 2012 to 2015 the Chair of the Board of the Irish Architecture Foundation.  She organised the fourth international conference of the European Architectural History Network, held in Dublin Castle on 2-4 June 2016.  Since 2016 she has delivered plenary or keynote lectures in Dessau, Frankfurt, Glasgow, Guangzhou, and Paris, lectured at Columbia, Cornell, IIT Kanpur, MIT, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and the University of Pennsylvania, and delivered conferences papers at Cambridge, Jawaharlal Nehru and Leiden universities.

James-Chakraborty is a historian of early modern and modern architecture.  She is an expert on twentieth-century German and American modernism.  She is particularly interested in addition in modern sacred architecture, in nonwestern modernism, and in the relationship between modernism and modernity.  She received an IRCHSS Senior Fellowship to research her book Modernism as Memory: Building Identity in the Federal Republic of Germany.

James-Chakrabortty's previous books include Erich Mendelsohn and the Architecture of German Modernism (Cambridge, 1997), German Architecture for a Mass Audience (Routledge, 2000) and Architecture since 1400 (Minnesota, 2014; Guangxi, 2017).  She is the editor of India in Art in Ireland (Routledge, 2016) and Bauhaus Culture from Weimar to the Cold War (Minnesota, 2006) and the co-editor of Crossing Borders: Space Beyond Disciplines (Peter Lang, 2011) and German Cultural Identity since 1989 (Camden House, 2011).  Her articles have appeared in German Politics and Society, the Journal of Architectural Education, the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, and New German Critique.  She has contributed to the catalogues of exhibitions held at the Barbican (London), Folkwang Museum (Essen), the German Architectural Museum (Frankfurt), the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, the Martin Gropius Bau (Berlin), the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Architecture Biennale (Venice), as well as more than a dozen edited books. 


Honours and Awards

Year: 2011.
Title: Member, Royal Irish Academy
Year: 2008.
Title: Gambrinus Fellowship
Year: 2005.
Title: Mercator Visiting Professorship, Institut für Kunstgeschichte, Deutsche Forschungsgeselleschaft


Association: Society of Architectural Historians, Function/Role: Member


Committee : Irish Architecture Foundation
Committee : Board of Trustees, Chester Beatty Library
Committee : Collection Advisory Panel, National Museum of Ireland & Crafts Council of Ireland Craft Collection Purchase Fund
Committee : Alice Davis Hitchcock Prize Committee, Society of Architectural Historians
Committee : Comité International de l'Histoire de l'Art



Outreach Activities

Many public lectures at universities, museums, and public institutions in Ireland, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States



Kathleen James-Chakraborty (2018) Modernism as Memory: Building Identity in the Federal Republic of Germany. Minneapolis, USA: University of Minnesota Press. Available Online [Details]
Kathleen James-Chakraborty (2014) Architecture since 1400. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. [Details]
James-Chakraborty, K.; (2006) Bauhaus Culture: From Weimar to the Cold War. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. [Details]
James-Chakraborty, K.; (2000) German Architecture for a Mass Audience. London: Routledge Press. [Details]
James-Chakraborty, K.; (2000) In the Spirit of Our Age: Eric Mendelsohn's B'nai Amoona Synagogue. St. Louis: Missouri Historical Society. [Details]
James, K.; (1997) Erich Mendelsohn and the Architecture of German Modernism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. [Details]

Book Chapters

Kathleen James-Chakraborty (2016) 'Louis Kahn¿s Yale Center for British Art: An Irish Perspective' In: Carla Briggs, Nicola Figgis, Lynda Mulvin, and Paula Murphy (eds). Art History After Francoise Henry: 50 Years at UCD ¿ 1965-2015. Kinsale: Gandon. , pp.150-161 [Details]
Kathleen James-Chakraborty (2016) 'Introduction' In: Carla Briggs, Nicola Figgis, Lynda Mulvin, and Paula Murphy (eds). Art History After Francoise Henry: 50 Years at UCD ¿ 1965-2015. Kinsale: Gandon. , pp.6-11 [Details]
Kathleen James-Chakraborty (2017) 'Is Modern Architecture Good?' In: Peter Voggler and Stefan Graf (eds). Architecture in Asmara: Colonial Origin and Postcolonial Experiences. Berlin: Dom. , pp.38-45 [Details]
Kathleen James-Chakraborty (2017) 'Schocken Department Store: The Art of a Master' In: David Leatherbarrow and Alexander Eisenschmidt (eds). Twentieth-Century Architecture. Chichester: Wiley. , pp.207-219 Available Online [Details]
Kathleen James-Chakraborty (2015) 'The Bauhaus has no Place' In: Bauhaus Kooperation Berlin, Weimar, Dessau (eds). Bauhaus News -- Contemporary Remarks. Leipzig: Spector. , pp.43-44 [Details]
Kathleen James-Chakraborty (2015) 'Architecture in Transit: Three High-Tech Historicist Airports' In: Anne Fuchs; Jonathan Long (eds). Time in German Literature and Culture, 1900-2015: Acceleration and Slowness. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. , pp.45-68 [Details]
Kathleen James-Chakraborty (2014) 'Synagogues & Mosques' In: Hugh Campbell, Ralf Loeber et al (eds). Architecture 1600-2000 (Art and Architecture of Ireland, vol. 4). London/New Haven: Yale University Press. [Details]
Kathleen James-Chakraborty (2015) 'Gesamtkunstwerk and Gender: From Domesticity to Branding and Back Again' In: Carsten Ruhl, Rixt Hoekstra, Chris Dähne (eds). The Death and Life of the Total Work of Art: Henry van de Velde and the Legacy of a Modern Concept. Berlin: Jovis. , pp.94-104 [Details]
Kathleen James-Chakraborty (2015) 'Ausstellungen erleben: Lilly Reichs Produktdisplays 1927-31' In: Jörn Schafaff and Benjamin Wihstutz (eds). Sowohl als auch dazwischen. Erfarhurngsräume der Kunst. Paderborn: Wilhelm Fink Verlag. , pp.56-76 [Details]
Kathleen James-Chakraborty (2015) 'Beyond the Masters: Modernism in South Asian Architecture' In: Allana Lindgren, Stephen Ross (eds). The Modernist World. London: Routledge. , pp.100-108 [Details]
Kathleen James-Chakraborty (2014) 'The use of ruins in postwar German church reconstruction' In: JoAnne Mancini and Keith Bresnahan (eds). Architecture and Armed Conflict: The Politics of Destruction. London: Routledge. , pp.198-211 [Details]
Kathleen James-Chakraborty (2014) 'Chinese Art History as Contemporary Art History: An Outsider's Perspective' In: Shane McCausland and Yin Hwang (eds). On Telling Images of China: Essays in Narrative Painting and Visual Culture. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press. [Details]
Kathleen James-Chakraborty (2012) 'From Chicago to Berlin and Back Again' In: Mary Jane Jacob and Jacquelyn Bass (eds). Chicago Makes Modern: How Creative Minds Changed Society. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. , pp.91-109 [Details]
Kathleen James-Chakraborty (2012) 'between revolution and reform: the bauhaus in context, 1919-1923' In: Kathleen James-Chakraborty (eds). bauhaus: art as life. Cologne: Koenig Books. , pp.18-20 [Details]
Kathleen James-Chakraborty (2012) 'Neo-classical Commodities: from Coade Stone to the fall of the Wall and beyond' In: Lynda Mulvin (eds). The fusion of neo-classical principles. Dublin: Wordwell. , pp.1-9 [Details]
Kathleen James-Chakraborty; (2011) 'Louis Kahn's Monumentality: Theory and Practice' In: Carsten Ruhl (eds). Mythos Monument: Urban Strategien in Architektur und Kunst seit 1945. Bielefeld: Transcript. , pp.77-98 [Details]
Kathleen James-Chakraborty; (2010) 'Recycling Landscape: Wasteland into Culture' In: Gillian Pye (eds). Trash Culture: Objects and Obsolescence in Cultural Perspective. Bern, Switzerland: Peter Lang. , pp.77-94 [Details]
Anja Baumhoff and Magdalena Droste, eds.; (2009) 'Fragile Allianz: Über die Beziehung zwischen Henry van de Velde und Walter Gropius' In: Anja Baumhoff and Magdalena Droste, eds.; (eds). Mythos Bauhaus: Zwischen Selbsterfindung und Enthistorisierung. Berlin: Reimer. , pp.35-52 [Details]
Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin/Museum für Gestaltung, Stifttung Bauhaus Dessau, und Klassik Stiftung Weimar, eds; (2009) 'Expressionism and Experiment: The Sommerfeld House' In: Bauhaus-Archiv Berlin/Museum für Gestaltung, Stifttung Bauhaus Dessau, und Klassik Stiftung Weimar, eds; (eds). Bauhaus: A Conceptual Model. Ostfildern: Hatje-Canz. , pp.51-54 [Details]
Kathleen James-Chakraborty; (2009) 'All past buildings will be deemed worthy of study: The Berkeley PhD Program and its Interdisciplinary Orientation' In: Waverly Lowell, Elizabeth Byrne, Betsy Frederick-Rothwell (eds). Design on the Edge: A Century of Teaching at the University of California, Berkeley, 1903-2003. Berkeley, California: College of Environmental Design, University of California, Berkeley. , pp.126-130 [Details]
Hugh Campbell, Samantha Martin-McAuliffe, Brian Ward and Nathalie Weadick; (2008) 'Civic Architecture in Ireland' In: Hugh Campbell, Samantha Martin-McAuliffe, Brian Ward and Nathalie Weadick; (eds). The Lives of Spaces. Dublin: Irish Architectural Foundation and University College Dublin. , pp.80-91 [Details]
Kathleen James-Chakraborty; (2008) 'Architecture of the Cold War.  Louis Kahn and Edward Durrell Stone in South Asia' In: Anke Köth, Kai Krauskopf, and Andreas Schwarting (eds). Building America: Eine grosse Erzählung. Dresden: Thelem. , pp.169-182 [Details]
James-Chakraborty, K.; (2007) 'Inventing Industrial Culture in Essen' In: Paul Jaskot and Gavriel Rosenfeld (eds). Beyond Berlin: German Cities Confront the Nazi Past. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. , pp.116-139 [Details]
James-Chakraborty, K.; (2006) 'Erich Mendelsohn: Leben und Werk in dem USA' In: Regina Stephan (eds). Erich Mendelsohn: Wesen, Werk, Wirking. Stuttgart: Hatje Canz Verlag. , pp.44-57 [Details]
James-Chakraborty, K.; (2005) 'Dominikus Böhm in Amerika' In: Wolfgang Voigt and Ingeborg Flagge (eds). Dominikus Böhm: 1880-1955. Frankfurt: Deutsches Architektur Museum. , pp.89-101 [Details]
James-Chakraborty, K.; (2004) 'The Bauhaus in America Revisited: The Impact of the Cold War on the Reception of Modern Architecture in the United States' In: Rebekka Habermas and Rebekka von Mallinkrodt (eds). Interkultureller Transfer und nationaler Eigensinn: Europäische und anglo-amerikanische Positionen der Kulturwissenschaften. Göttingen: Wallstein Verlag. , pp.195-208 [Details]
James-Chakraborty, K.; (2004) 'Moderate Modernism: Sacred Architecture in St. Louis and its Suburbs' In: Eric Mumford (eds). Modern Architecture in St. Louis: Washington University and Postwar American Architectuer, 1948-1973. St. Louis: School of Architecture, Washington University. , pp.27-40 [Details]
James-Chakraborty, K.; (2003) 'Eric Mendelsohn in America: Reinventing a Reputation for Modernism' In: Bernd Nicolai (eds). Architektur und Exil: Kulturtransfer und architektonische Emigration 1930 bis 1950. Trier: Porta Alba Verlag. , pp.133-143 [Details]
James-Chakraborty, K.; (2002) 'The Drama of Illumination: Visions of Community from Wilhelmine to Nazi Germany' In: Richard Etlin (eds). Art, Culture, and Media under the Third Reich. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. , pp.181-201 [Details]
James-Chakraborty, K.; (2000) 'Ludwig Mies van der Rohe und Ludwig Hilberseimer' In: Georg-W. Kölzsch and Margarita Tupitsyn (eds). Bauhaus: Dessau, Chicago, New York. Cologne: DuMont. , pp.220-227 [Details]
James, K.; (1999) 'From Messel to Mendelsohn: German Department Store Architecture in Defense of Urban and Economic Change' In: Geoffrey Crossick and Serge Jaumain (eds). Cathedrals of Consumption: the European Department Store 1850-1939. London: Ashgate. , pp.252-278 [Details]
James, K.,; (1998) 'Einstein, Mendelsohn und Finlay-Freundlich in Potsdam' In: Gebauten Welten, Regina Stephan (eds). Erich Mendelsohn (1887-1953). Stuttgart and New York: Hatje Verlag and Monacelli Press. , pp.30-43 [Details]
James, K.,; (1998) 'Großstadtarchitektur in Berlin: Der Woga-Komplex und das Universum Kino' In: Gebauten Welten, Regina Stephan (eds). Erich Mendelsohn (1887-1953). Stuttgart and New York: Hatje Verlag and Monacelli Press. , pp.134-143 [Details]
James, K.,; (1998) 'Die Textilfabrik Krasnoje Snamja in Leningrad' In: Gebauten Welten, Regina Stephan (eds). Erich Mendelsohn (1887-1953). Stuttgart and New York: Hatje Verlag and Monacelli Press. , pp.167-177 [Details]
James, K.,; (1998) 'Kleinere Bauten für die jüdische Gemeinschaft in Tilsit, Königsberg und Essen' In: Gebauten Welten, Regina Stephan (eds). Erich Mendelsohn (1887-1953). Stuttgart and New York: Hatje Verlag and Monacelli Press. [Details]
James, K.,; (1997) 'Changing the Agenda: From German Bauhaus Modernism to U. S. Internationalism: Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Walter Gropius, Marcel Breuer' In: James, K.,; (eds). Stephanie Barron with Sabine Eckmann, Exiles and Émigrés: The Flight of European Artists from Hitler. Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art. , pp.235-252 [Details]
James, K.,; (1991) 'Philadelphia College of Art' In: David Brownlee and David DeLong (eds). Louis I. Kahn, In the Realm of Architecture. Los Angeles: Museum of Contemporary Art. , pp.358-361 [Details]
James, K.,; (1991) 'Indian Institute of Management' In: James, K.,; (eds). Louis I. Kahn, In the Realm of Architecture. Los Angeles: Museum of Contemporary Art. , pp.368-373 [Details]

Edited Books

Kathleen James-Chakraborty (Ed.). (2016) India in Art in Ireland. London/New York: Routledge. Available Online [Details]
Kathleen James Chakraborty & Sabine Stümper-Krobb (Ed.). (2011) Crossing Borders: Space Beyond Discipline. Oxford: Peter Lang. [Details]
Kathleen James Chakraborty, Anne Fuchs, Linda Shortt (Ed.). (2011) Debating German Cultural Identity Since 1989. Rochester: Camden House Press. [Details]

Peer Reviewed Journals

Anne Fuchs and Kathleen James-Chakraborty (2012) 'Introduction'. New German Critique, 39.2 (116):1-10. [Details]
Kathleen James-Chakraborty (2015) 'Editorial'. ABE Journal: European Architecture beyond Europe, (7). Available Online [Details]
Andrew Tierney and Kathleen James-Chakraborty; (2011) 'Thoor Ballylee: icon of an Irish imaginary'. Architecture, 16 (4):529-549. [Details]
Kathleen James-Chakraborty (2012) 'Beyond Cold War Interpretations: Shaping a New Bauhaus Heritage'. New German Critique, 39.2 (116):11-24. [Details]
Kathleen James-Chakraborty (2014) 'Louis Kahn in Ahmedabad and Dhaka'. ABE Journal: European Architecture beyond Europe, (4). Available Online [Details]
Kathleen James-Chakraborty (2014) 'Beyond Postcolonialism: New Directions in the History of Nonwestern Architecture'. Frontiers of Architectural Research, 3 (1):1-9. Available Online [Details]
Kathleen James-Chakraborty (2014) 'Reinforced concrete in Louis Kahn's National Assembly, Dhaka: Modernity and modernism in Bangladeshi architecture'. Frontiers of Architectural Research, 3 (2):81-88. [DOI] [Details]
Rachel Lee and Kathleen James-Chakraborty (2012) 'Marg Magazine: A Tryst with Architectural Modernity: Modern Architecture as seen from an independent India'. ABE Journal: European Architecture beyond Europe, 1 . [Details]
Kathleen James-Chakraborty; (2008) 'Response'. Positions, (0):53-57. [Details]
James-Chakraborty, K.,; (2006) 'Proportion and Politics: Marketing Mies and Mendelsohn'. German Historical Institute Bulletin Supplement, 2 :51-62. [Details]
James-Chakraborty, K.,; (2001) 'Kirchstiegfeld: A European Perspective on the Construction of Community'. Places, :56-61. [Details]
James, K.,; (1999) 'Memory and the Cityscape: The German Architectural Debate about Postmodernism'. German Politics and Society, 17 (3):71-83. [Details]
James, K.,; (1998) 'Between Expressionism and Neue Sachlichkeit'. Ruins of Modernity: Erich Mendelsohn's Hat Factory in Luckenwalde; AA Files 4, :8-13. [Details]
James, K.,; (1995) 'Form versus Function: The Importance of the Indian Institute of Management in the development of Louis Kahn's Courtyard Architecture'. Journal of Architectural Education, 49 :38-49. [Details]
James, K.,; (1994) 'Expressionism, Relativity, and the Einstein Tower'. Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians (Us), 53 :392-413. [Details]
James, K.,; (1994) 'Zwischen Expressionismus and Neuer Sachlichkeit: Das Seidenhaus Weichmann in Gleiwitz'. Oberschlesisches Jahrbuch, 10 :153-162. [Details]

Other Journals

Kathleen James-Chakraborty (2017) 'Exiles and Immigration' Very Vary Veri 5 :5-14. [Details]
Kathleen James-Chakraborty (2016) 'Reconstructing Faith' Architectural Review (1430) :84-90. Available Online [Details]


Fuchs, A,James-Chakraborty, K (2012) TRANSFORMATIONS OF GERMAN CULTURAL IDENTITY, 1989-2009 Introduction. Editorial [DOI] [Details]

Book Reviews

James-Chakraborty, K (2009) A Women's Berlin: Building the Modern City. Book Reviews [DOI] [Details]
James-Chakraborty, K (2009) The Free University Berlin (1967-1973): Campus Design, Team X Ideals and Tectonic Invention. Book Reviews [Details]
James-Chakraborty, K (2012) Bauhaus Dream-house: Modernity and Globalization. Book Reviews [Details]
James-Chakraborty, K (2012) The Future of Architecture. Since 1889. Book Reviews [DOI] [Details]


Research Interests

As a historian of modern architecture, I am particularly interested in the dissemination of artistic ideas across time and space, in issues of patronage, in the reappraisal of nonwestern modernism, in the history of modern sacred architecture and in gender.  I have particular expertise in the history of German, American, and South Asian architecture, but have advised dissertations on Japanese topics as well and am ready to consider topics relating to early modern and modern architecture from around the world.

Research Projects

Sponsor : Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences (IRCHSS)
Title : Conversations with Modern Irish Architecture with Wolfgang Sonne
Start Date / End Date : 01-DEC-08 / 31-MAY-09
Sponsor : University College Dublin (UCD)
Title : Modern Sacred Architecture: A Comparative Study
Start Date / End Date : 01-APR-14 / 30-SEP-15
Title : The Art and Architecture of Migration
Start Date / End Date : 04-APR-14 / 31-JUL-15
Sponsor : Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences (IRCHSS)
Title : Modernist Memory: Architecture and Identity in the Federal Republic of Germany
Start Date / End Date : 03-OCT-11 / 31-DEC-12
Sponsor : University College Dublin Foundation Ltd.
Title : Illustrated Books in the National Library
Start Date / End Date : 16-JAN-12 / 25-JAN-13

Recent Postgraduates

Medb Ruane
Ruth Musielak 
Jennifer Goff 
Louis Weyhe Funder 

Current Postgraduate Students

Sadegh Panahiazar, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)   -   Thesis Supervisor