ARCH 6800/6408
Architecture and Justice

A person stands next to a large, translucent globe that glows red.

Hot Spot, by Mona Hatoum.

  • Instructor: Esra Akcan
  • Time: Th 3:00–4:55 p.m.
  • Location: OL
  • Credits: 3
  • Territory of Investigation: Architecture and Ecology, Architecture and Urbanism

This seminar encourages close reading of a selection of texts that have contributed to art and architectural historiography in the last decade, particularly emphasizing the ongoing discussions on the relation between architecture and justice. The sessions are organized around issues of global, social, and environmental justice in order to cover a variety of topics while understanding their interrelated causes. The seminar also traces these discussions to earlier discourses; and the reading list draws from a variety of disciplines including architectural history/theory/criticism, art history, political philosophy, law, and comparative literature, as well as intellectual movements such as critical theory, feminism, postcolonialism, anti-racism, and environmentalism. We will rethink architectural practice, scholarship, exhibitions, and pedagogy with the help of recent critical books on the impact of geopolitical, racial, and gender hierarchies, capitalism, and neoliberalism, as well as on the alternatives created by the intertwined and cosmopolitical histories, feminist and environmentalist movements, and reparations and abolishment activism. The course will familiarize students with the relevant artistic/architectural examples and conceptual frameworks to respond to the recent conflicts and disasters such as the disproportionate impact of public health crises, removal of monuments, and police violence, as well as healing from the interconnected deep histories of colonization, slavery, environmental extraction, and perpetual war.

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