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Architectures of Control and Resistance: New Histories of Architecture and Politics in the 20th Century Call for Abstracts

The History of Architecture and Urbanism Society invites graduate students to participate in its annual research symposium, on April 24, 2023.

  • Application Deadline: February 17, 2023
  • Selection Notification: February 24, 2023
  • Draft Submission: March 24, 2023
  • Full Draft Submission: April 14, 2023 
  • Eligibility: Open to all graduate students

This year's symposium held by Cornell University's History of Architecture and Urbanism Society aims to explore architectural histories that grapple with the scarring and marring of lands, buildings, and bodies caused by enforced occupation, violent displacement, and extractive practices associated with modernity under totalitarian, colonial, or neo-colonial regimes during the 20th century, in any part of the world.

As with other fields in the humanities, architectural history has been grappling with new ways to activate critical consciousness of the ongoing unjust systems of power-knowledge and address the coloniality of modernity in architecture worldwide. We ask: how can our histories of architecture unsettle the coloniality of race, violence, and place? How can we disturb the imperial imaginations that define modernism in and of architecture? Finally, can our work activate transformative practices of resistance and reinscription in both historical and architectural thinking?

This symposium will address these disciplinary challenges by showcasing research that reconsiders and expands our knowledge about the role that architecture played in building the structures of power supporting fascism, colonialism, imperialism, and capitalism during the 1900s. Papers should explore specific architectural, spatial, and material practices and expose how they helped occupy, tame, discipline, and control places and people — as well as the nonhuman, the natural, and the material. In seeking histories and discourses that are neither exclusionary nor limited to established colonial and imperial realities, we particularly welcome work that sheds light on the histories of contested spaces and architectures and on voices of anticolonial agency, heterogeneity, and intersectional diversity.

Submit your paper title and abstract (250–300 words) with your name and affiliation through the Cornell AAP website form below by February 17, 2023.

Authors of accepted papers will be notified by February 24, 2023, via email and will be asked to submit a full draft (3,000–3,200 words) by April 14, 2023.

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