The Politics of Building a Climate Crisis: Call for Abstracts

The History of Architecture and Urbanism Society invites graduate students to participate in its annual research symposium, April 24-25, 2020. 

  • Application deadline: March 6, 2020
  • Selection Notification: March 10, 2020
  • Full Draft Submission: April 20, 2020 
  • Eligibility: Open to all graduate students

Keynote lecture: Daniel A. Barber, associate professor of architecture, University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design
April 24, 6 p.m., Abby and Howard Milstein Auditorium, Milstein Hall, Cornell University

Graduate student presentations: April 25, 9 a.m.–6 p.m., 115 West Sibley Hall

Organized by graduate students enrolled in the History of Architecture and Urban Development program, "The Politics of Building a Climate Crisis" will seek to rethink architecture's historic role in the politics of climate change while reimagining interdisciplinary paths for addressing it. Though rarely acknowledged, the existential crisis posed by climate change also rests on the normative boundaries and historiographic conventions within and between fields of scholarship — the intrinsic knowledge supports of societies based on fossil capital. To critically address climate change, in other words, requires addressing the nature and politics of building our own fields of scholarship. To this end, we invite graduate students from any discipline and at any stage of development to submit abstracts for presentation on this particular dimension of the climate crisis.

As part of this reflexive historicization, we aim to broadly rethink and reassess conceptions of 'environment' and 'climate,' such as: the reification of nature as an aspect of modernity; post- and de-colonial perspectives, especially as they relate to recent discussions about Western mitigation strategies (i.e. The Green New Deal); the climate crisis as a continuation of empire and colonialism; questions of technology, extraction, regulation, infrastructure, and territory; inflections of the capital-state power nexus; the role of 'expertise' in shaping building practices aimed at taming and manipulating 'climates;' the construction and normalization of 'crisis' as a new political ground through corporate activism and social and grassroots movements; or the development of new media and other contested public spheres wherein the climate crisis is built and played out.

Please submit your paper title and abstract (250-300 words) with your name and affiliation by March 6, 2020. Authors of accepted papers will be notified by March 10, 2020 via email, and will be asked to submit a full draft (3,000-3,200 words) by April 20, 2020.


Paper Title and Abstract
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