Student / Alumni
Caroline Murphy

I am a PhD candidate studying the history of architecture, infrastructure, and environmental engineering in the context of state formation in early modern Europe, with a focus on Italy. My dissertation, titled Waters and Wealth: Rivers, Infrastructure, and the Territorial Imagination in Grand Ducal Tuscany, ca. 1550–1610, examines how architects, engineers, and administrators working for the Medicean state approached flood prevention and territorial hydraulic planning not only as technical problems, but also as large-scale, future-oriented design challenges with political and economic ramifications. I've received a doctoral fellowship from the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max Planck Institut to pursue research on this project in Florence, Italy, and have a chapter related to my dissertation forthcoming in the book Land, Air, Sea: Architecture and Environment in the Early Modern Period (Brill), co-edited by Jennifer Ferng and Lauren Jacobi.

I earned my B.A. from the University of Toronto in 2014 and my S.M.Arch.S. from MIT in 2016. I won a prize for my master's thesis that examined material and religious antiquarianism in the monastic history publications of the 17th-century English antiquary and herald, William Dugdale. During my time in the master's program, I wrote for the Department of Architecture's student website, Arch_Kiosk, and collaborated with a team directed by Rafi Segal on the exhibition, Space Packing Architecture: The Life and Work of Alfred Neumann (2015) and edited the catalog. I began my PhD in 2016, and before commencing my dissertation research in Italy, I co-led my program's lecture series (HTC Forum) alongside Elizabeth Browne and Sarah Rifky; co-organized the New England Society of Architectural Historians' 2018 Student Symposium with Eliyahu Keller; served on the Creative Arts Council, an MIT Institute Committee; and completed a teaching certification from MIT's Teaching and Learning Lab.

At MIT, my research is supported by a Walter A. Rosenblith Presidential Fellowship. Before joining the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz, I won a doctoral fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada in 2017, and I've also received grants and research awards from MIT's Department of Architecture, Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI), and Graduate Student Council. 


“Waters and Wealth in Late-Renaissance Italy: Giovanni Botero on Infrastructure and Aquatic Navigation.” In Land, Air, and Sea: Architecture and Environment in the Early Modern Period, edited by Jennifer Ferng and Lauren Jacobi. Brill: New York, forthcoming.

“Learning from the Survey.” A review of Drawing after Architecture: Renaissance Architectural Drawings and their Reception by Carolyn Yerkes. Venice: Marsilio, Centro Internazionale di Studi di Architettura Andrea Palladio. 2017. Reviews Winter 2019. Architectural Histories 7 (1): 2, 4–7.

“Danciger Building–Laboratory for the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering,” “Club Med Housing Camp,” “Bat Yam Town Hall and Civic Center,” and “Dubiner Apartment House.” In Alfred Neumann (Catalogue for exhibition, Space Packing Architecture: The Life and Work of Alfred Neumann, Ostrava, Czech Republic, 2015), edited by Tadeás Goryczka, Jaroslav Nemec, Rafi Segal. Kabinet architektury, 2015.

Areas of Interest
Baroque Architecture, Economic Development, Environmental Planning and Management, Government, Historiography, History and Theory of Planning, History of Gardens, Infrastructure Planning, Landscape, Law and Policy, Theory of Architecture, Visualization, Water Conservation