Carter Manny Award

  • The Pan-American Highway Project: Imageries, Infrastructures, and Landscapes of Hemispheric (Dis)Integration, 1923–70
    Dicle Taskin

War Department Corps of Engineers, Chart that illustrates the status of construction of the Inter-American Highway at the termination of wartime collaboration in 1943 between Honduras and Nicaragua, 1944. Courtesy Edwin Warley James Papers, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming

Dicle Taskin, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, is the recipient of the 2022 Carter Manny Writing Award.

The Pan-American Highway, which extends from Alaska to Patagonia, was conceived to embody the ideological promise of hemispheric integration, a concept rooted in the political movement of Pan-Americanism, which came to act as a disguise for American imperialism in the early twentieth century. On the one hand, the representational, discursive, and performative aspects of the highway project created a contested imaginary of integration, where the contours of Pan-America and the United States empire were delineated. On the other hand, the planning, logistics, and construction of the highway as a material infrastructure provided a platform through which the US hegemony associated with the project could be challenged, and the premise of integration could be undermined or repurposed. This dissertation combines archival research and mapping to question how the uneven power dynamics of Pan-Americanism were negotiated through this large-scale infrastructure project and its imprint in the built environment.

Dicle Taskin’s research interests include infrastructures, politics of scale, critical media practices, and histories of the built environment. Her research has been supported by the Fulbright Foreign Student Program and Rackham Graduate School's various scholarships and awards. Taskin received her BArch from the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey, and her MArch from Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) in Barcelona, Spain. She joined the research group, Habitar at UPC and worked as a teaching and research assistant before starting her doctorate education at the University of Michigan.