Amy Thomas

Harper Fellow in the Society of Fellows, Collegiate Assistant Professor in the Humanities Collegiate Division
Cochrane-Woods Art Center

Amy Thomas is a Harper-Schmidt Fellow in the Department of Art History and the College. She submitted her PhD in History of Architecture at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London (UCL), in 2015. Before moving to the University of Chicago in 2015, Amy held the position of Teaching Fellow at UCL and acted as a Visiting Lecturer and Teaching Assistant at Regents University London, and Queen Mary, University of London, respectively.

Thomas’s teaching and research is centred on twentieth century western architecture and urbanism, with a particular focus on the relationship between financial processes and the built environment. Her doctoral research, which she is currently revising for publication, comprised a material and spatial analysis of the City of London, London’s unique financial centre, in the post-war period. Her work endeavours to dispel the myth of immateriality and invisibly that surrounds global financial transactions by investigating their physical consequences at different spatial scales, from the level of urban planning and economic geography, through symbolic architectural facades, to the often-mundane interior worlds of offices and trading floors. With a particular interest in everyday spaces, Thomas’s research also explores the unceremonious and often un-‘architectural’ buildings that make up the fabric of the modern urban world, including developer-led commercial architecture and infrastructure. Within this context, her current research investigates the material history of tax havens and offshore financial centres, as spaces that are often misconstrued as peripheral or external to the nation-state system, but are in fact territorially embedded within them.