Susan Nigra Snyder, a registered architect, and George E. Thomas, Ph.D., a cultural and architectural historian, are co-founders and partners at CivicVisions, a nationally-based, multi-disciplinary research and consulting firm that combines research methodologies to understand a place’s history with the ability to create a future that responds to contemporary lifestyle forces.
Ms. Snyder investigates how local identity is expressed, maintained and able to develop while being responsive to larger global and media forces that affect the realms of contemporary life. Her teaching for more than twenty-five years at the University of Pennsylvania includes seminars and design studios that investigated the forces of consumption on urban form. She has received two University of Pennsylvania Research Foundation grants to study processes of urban identity. At Harvard she received the Student Forum Design Studies Faculty Award in 2018 and 2019. Public service includes serving as chair of Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority’s Advisory Board of Design, a member of the Fine Arts Committee and of the Delaware Valley Smart Growth Alliance jury. Her work has been published in Quaderns Magazine, Modulus, A.D., Arch+ and Harvard Design Magazine.
George Thomas’s expertise is as a cultural and architectural historian with a focus on the relationship between cultural innovation and architectural design. Professionally, he has served as an advisor on campus design for the University of Pennsylvania, and Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges in addition to working with a national array of developers. In 1978 he was one of the founders of Penn’s Program in Historic Preservation where he taught until 1995. In 1995 he was awarded the University’s Provost’s Award for Distinguished Teaching. His research has broadened our understanding of the origins of modern design in the industrial cultures of the United States. His books include Frank Furness: The Complete Works (1991); Building America’s First University: An Architectural and Historical Guide to the University of Pennsylvania (2000); William L. Price: From Arts and Crafts to Modern Design (2000); the Society of Architectural Historians-sponsored Buildings of the United States: Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania (2010) First Modern: Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (2017); and, Frank Furness: Architecture in the Age of the Great Machines (2018).
George E. Thomas
Stephanie Yuhl is a Professor of History at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. Her research and teaching interests include twentieth-century US cultural and social history, with emphases in historical memory, material culture, public history and “heritage” studies, social movements, as well as gender/ sexualities and Southern history. Yuhl is the author of A Golden Haze of Memory: The Making of Historic Charleston (South Carolina) which traces the explicit construction (through historic preservation, the built environment, fine and folk arts, and literature) and commod-ification (heritage tourism) of a selective and racialized “historical” identity in that city in the early part of the twentieth century (which persists today). Her book was the recipient of two national awards, in historic preservation studies and southern history, respectively. The author of multiple essays and articles on the politics of public historical memory, Yuhl’s recent work on space, power, and the narratives of US slavery, “Hidden in Plain Sight: Centering the Domestic Slave Trade in American Public History,” earned the Fletcher M. Green and Charles W. Ramsdell Award for the best article published in the Journal of Southern History. Yuhl brings her scholarly interest in the production of knowledge through design and display, the con-sumption of history, and the politics of place to her work as a practicing public historian and consultant. She has curated museum exhibits, conducted community oral history projects, and contributed to projects in the Digital Humanities. Yuhl serves as Director of the Montserrat Program at Holy Cross, a year-long living learning liberal arts seminar exclusively for first-year students. She has received awards for mentoring and teaching students, including the Inaugural Burns Career Teaching Medal for Outstanding Teaching. Yuhl received her BA from Georgetown and her MA and PhD from Duke University and was a Lilly Foundation post-doctoral fellow in the Arts and Humanities.
Michael Herzfeld was educated at the Universities of Cambridge (B.A. in Archaeology and Anthropology, 1969), Athens (non-degree program in Greek Folklore, 1969-70), Birmingham (M.A., Modern Greek Studies, 1972; D.Litt., 1989); and Oxford (Social Anthropology, D.Phil., 1976). Before moving to Harvard, he taught at Vassar College (1978-80) and Indiana University (1980-91) (where he served as Associate Chair of the Research Center for Language and Semiotic Studies, 1980-85, and as Chair of the Department of Anthropology, 1987-90). Lord Simon Visiting Professor at the University of Manchester in 1994, he has also taught at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (1995), Paris, at the Università di Padova (1992), the Università di Roma “La Sapienza” (1999-2000), and the University of Melbourne (intermittently since 2004), and has held a visiting research appointments at the Australian National University and the University of Sydney (1985), at the University of Adelaide, and at the Université de Paris-X (Nanterre) (1991).