Associate Professor, Chair
Professor McLaren's teaching and scholarship is influenced by an ongoing interest in Marxist and contemporary critical theory as well as postcolonial studies. The broad focus of his concerns have been on the relationship between architecture and politics during the Fascist period in Italy, with particular attention to the tensions that linked modernism and regional expression. His dissertation research and initial publications concentrated on the colonial context of Libya and especially the relationship between modern architecture and local culture under the auspices of tourism. This research culminated in a major book project, Architecture and Tourism in Italian Colonia Libya: An Ambivalent Modernism
(UW press, 2006). More recently this research has been presented in a conference, "Middle Eastern Societies (1918-1939)", held in Ankara, Turkey in October of 2016, and will be published in an edited volume under the same title.
His current research is related to a new book project, "Modern architecture, colonialism and race in Fascist Italy" - which has been presented at the Annual Conference of the College Art Association in New York (February 2015) and Society of Architectural Historians in Chicago (April 2015) as well as being published in a themed issue of Architectural Theory Review
(Fall 2015). He is also a member of the Race and Modern Architecture Project, presenting this research at a conference at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University (February 2016). The essay presented at that conference, "Modern architecture and racial eugenics at the Esposizione Universale di Roma," will soon appear in an edited volume.