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Lizabeth Wardzinski

Ph.D. Candidate

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Lizabeth Wardzinski is a PhD candidate at North Carolina State University’s College of Design. She holds a bachelor’s degree in three-dimensional art from the University of Iowa and a Master of Architecture from Iowa State University. Wardzinski practiced architecture for six years before embarking on her PhD. In her dissertation, “A Model for the World: Tennessee Valley Authority and Postwar Development,” she studies the impact of the TVA as a model of development and decentralization on city and regional planning throughout the American south and, later, in postwar regions of modernization.

Wardzinski’s recent research focus is on the small southern city of Knoxville as a global destination for architects and planners as part of a larger postwar initiative to spread the ideals of a democratic citizenry through city and regional planning efforts. Additionally, she traces the influence of the Tennessee Valley Authority on postwar pedagogy at universities in the southeastern region of the United States through city and regional planning departments. This work has led Wardzinski to uncover how the TVA trained planners in its likeness in both the American hinterland and in a post-imperial modernizing world, while concurrently maintaining imperially determined racial and social structures of the past.

▸ Advisor: Burak Erdim, Ph.D.


Ph.D. in Design NC State University, 2014-present

M.Arch Iowa State University

BA Art University of Iowa