Jason Nguyen studies early modern architecture, urbanism, and landscape in Europe and its colonies, with particular interests in the relationship between theory and practice, the impact of science and technology, archeology and antiquarianism, and early modern aesthetic philosophies. He received his Ph.D. in 2017 from Harvard University, where he completed a dissertation entitled “Constructing Classicism: Architectural Theory, Practice, and Expertise in Paris (1670-1720).” The project examines how the practicalities of craft, manufacturing, and project financing intersected with academic theory in the development of French architectural classicism.
His research has been supported by the Center for Advanced Studies in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. and a Kress Institutional Fellowship at the Institut national d’histoire de l’art in Paris. He recently published an essay, “La représentation de la technique en France sous l’Ancien régime,” on decorative ironwork and the European metallurgical industries during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries for the journal Livraisons d’histoire de l’architecture. He is currently revising two forthcoming articles: one concerns the measurement of Roman antiquities by the architect Antoine Desgodets, and the other examines the redesign of the residential fireplace, circa 1700, and its relationship to period theories of comfort, sensation, and the physics of hot and cold air.
At USC, he will transform his dissertation into a book manuscript and begin research on a second project on architecture, colonial exploration, and the international commodities market during the seventeenth century. He looks forward to teaching courses on Renaissance and Baroque architecture as well as seminars on art, science, and technology during the early modern period.