Student / Alumni
Caroline Murphy

Caroline Murphy is a historian of early modern European architecture and visual culture in the fifth year of the PhD program for History, Theory, and Criticism of Architecture and Art at MIT. Her research examines infrastructure, environmental planning, and political economy in late Renaissance Italy, with a current focus on Florence and its dominions during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Caroline's dissertation project, provisionally titled "Waters and Wealth: Navigation, Infrastructure, and Political Economy in Grand Ducal Tuscany, ca. 1550–1610," studies how state architects, engineers, and bureaucrats sought to design the aqueous landscape and forge a connective system of hydraulic navigation in early ducal Tuscany (ca. 1550–1610), arguing that these practices gave rise to an infrastructural imaginary and political-economic theory of territorial design during the Renaissance. Some of this research is forthcoming in the book Land, Air, Sea: Environment and Architecture in the Early Modern Period (Brill), co-edited by Jennifer Ferng and Lauren Jacobi. Secondary interests include religious antiquarianism and material culture in Reformation and Counter-Reformation Europe, and the historiography of the Renaissance.

Caroline’s research at MIT is supported by a Walter A. Rosenblith Presidential Fellowship. She is also a doctoral fellow of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (2017–21) and the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max Planck Institut (2019–2021), and has received grants from MIT's Department of Architecture, Science and Technology initiatives, and Graduate Student Council, among other sources. She holds a SMArchS degree from MIT (2016), and a B.A. with High Distinction from the University of Toronto (2014).

2016 SMArchS Thesis: "Fact and Sanctity: Authenticating Laudianism in the English Monasticon Anglicanum's Architectural Prints (1655)" (thesis prize)

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