Princeton University School of Architecture
Announces the Final Public Oral Exam of
Lluís Alexandre Casanovas Blanco
“José Val del Omar’s Redesign of the Sensorium: Media, Politics, and Space in Francoist Spain”
Wednesday, October 26, 2022, 12 p.m. EST
Spyros Papapetros (Princeton University, Adviser)
Rachel Price (Princeton University)
S.E. Eisterer (Princeton University)
Tom McDonough (SUNY Binghamton)
Jordana Mendelson (King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center, NYU)
Andrew V. Uroskie (Stony Brook University)
This dissertation addresses the material implications of mass media politics and their cultural impact in Francoist Spain, from 1939 to 1966. It surveys the evolution of physiological, psychological, and architectural media theories from their use toward totalitarian propaganda during the embryonic Francoist autarky to their apparent liberalization following the regime’s alignment with the Cold War Western Bloc. I argue that the transformation and spatialization of the senses by modern media became key in discourses on national identity and state building. To do so, I focus on the work of filmmaker, audiovisual technician, and media theorist José Val del Omar (1904–1982). Through a close analysis of Val Del Omar’s writings, films, and other media projects, the dissertation aims to reconstruct the interdisciplinary discourse on the senses entertained both by governmental media and technoscientific institutions, and engaged with in the individual work of other Spanish artists, architects, filmmakers, and scientists. Each of the dissertation’s five chapters centers on the frictions between Val del Omar’s progressive politics of spectatorship and his engagement with different institutions connected to the official Francoist media apparatus sponsoring his projects. In light of contemporary controversies around Val del Omar’s politics, this dissertation aims to foreground alternative frameworks for understanding contestation and resistance within authoritarian political contexts.
A copy of the dissertation is available, for viewing only, in Room S-110.