Carter Manny Award

  • Kultur of Empire: The Production of Land, the Spirit of Capital, and the German Orient, 1871–1919
    Eva Schreiner

Unknown photographer, Asiatische Türkei, Adana, Fabrikhof der deutsch-levantischen Baumwollgesellschaft (Asiatic Turkey, Adana, Farmyard of the German Levantine Cotton Company), ca. 1921. Courtesy BArch BILD 137/011131.

Eva Schreiner, Columbia University, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, is the recipient of the 2019–20 Carter Manny Research Award.

In the late nineteenth century, the German Empire expanded its imperial reach to the Ottoman Empire—an incursion mostly conceived as “soft” Kulturpolitik (cultural politics). This dissertation traces the concept’s etymological roots in the cultivation of land. From this perspective, Kultur emerges as a capitalist, weaponized technique of constructing, managing, and expanding the German Empire. The architecture of three distinct but interrelated bureaucracies that underpin this system of cultivation are closely examined: the 1905 model farm built by the German Levantine Cotton Company in Anatolia, the 1897 Ottoman Public Debt Administration building in Istanbul, and the 1902 building of the Bremen Cotton Exchange. These architectural “types”—farm, bank, commodity exchange—reveal the operations of imperial capitalism as deeply entangled with symbolic value, aesthetic sensibility, and spiritual practice. Beyond its representational qualities, the project approaches architecture as an operational construct, mediating this Kultur, and securing the expansion.

Eva Schreiner is a PhD candidate at Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, with a joint-affiliation at the Institute of Comparative Literature and Society. She graduated with an BA from the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland and holds an MA in Near Eastern Studies from New York University. Her research focuses on the history of modern architecture, imperial capitalism, and the mediation of urban-rural relationships in Europe and the Middle East. In addition to the Carter Manny Award for dissertation research, Schreiner is the recipient of the Social Science Research Council’s International Dissertation Research Fellowship. Her work is published in Ways of Knowing Cities (Columbia University Press, 2019), gta papers 2 (gta Verlag Zürich, 2019), and The Funambulist (2017). She has taught at Columbia University and TU Darmstadt, Germany, worked with Columbia’s Center for Spatial Research, and participated in the Princeton-Weimar Summer School for Media Studies.