Erica Morawski


Assistant Professor History of Art and Design 718.636.3598 p Brooklyn Campus, East Hall 2

Current Course Listing (3)

21/FA-HAD-469-01 Modern Latin American Design

21/FA-HAD-602-01 Art Historical Theory and Methodology

21/FA-HAD-669-01 Modern Latin American Design

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PhD - University of Illinois at Chicago; MA - University of Texas at Austin; BA - Tulane University


Dr. Morawski is dedicated to exploring the intersection of design, politics, and identity. Her research and writing center on the history of design in the Americas, with a particular focus on the Hispanic Caribbean. Her work traverses the nature of these relationships across different scales, from a designed object to larger national or international frameworks of trade, manufacture, and knowledge systems. She is presently completing a book manuscript that examines design and development policy in Cuba, Dominican Republic, and Cuba from roughly 1900-1950. This project focuses on design related to the tourism industry as a means to analyze Hispanic Caribbean responses to and engagement with the co-constitutive projects of imperialism/colonialism and modernity. She is also researching a second book project on the institutionalization and role of design, specifically industrial design and architecture after the 1959 Cuban Revolution. Most recently she has published “The Tropicana Cabaret: Designing Cosmopolitan Cubanidad” in the Journal of Design History (2019) and “The Hotel Nacional de Cuba: Making Meanings and Negotiating Nationalism” in the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians. She co-authored an essay with Sara Desvernine Reed and Marianne Eggler entitled, “Redefining Modern Design: William Pahlmann and ‘A Matter of Taste’” in Design History Beyond the Canon (Bloomsbury, 2019). Her essay “Modernism on Vacation: The Politics of Modern Hotel Furniture in the Postwar Spanish Caribbean” was published in The Politics of Furniture: Identity, Diplomacy and Persuasion in Post-War Interiors (Fredie Floré and Cammie McAtee, eds. Routledge, 2017). The forthcoming volume Imperials Islands: Art, Architecture, and Visual Experience in the US Insular Empire after 1898 (University of Hawai’i Press, 2021), edited by Joseph R. Hartman, will contain her essay, “Havana’s Early Modern Hotels: Accommodating Colonialism, Independence and Imperialism.”