Akcan's Research on Healing Post-Traumatic Societies Wins Fellowship

a woman in a polka dot top beside a concrete staircase

Akcan in AAP's Milstein Hall dome. photo / Jason Koski

May 9, 2019

Associate Professor Esra Akcan, architecture, has received the prestigious Frieda L. Miller Fellowship from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University for her research proposal Right-to-Heal: Architecture in Post-Conflict and Post-Disaster Societies.

Akcan will use the Radcliffe fellowship to explore the role of architecture in transitional justice and the rehabilitation of societies after intense upheavals and internal conflicts — "state violence, environmental disasters, civil wars, ethnic cleansing, and economic meltdown," she says. "The research intends not only to expose architecture's complicit role in internal conflicts, but to demonstrate its creative potential after socioeconomic, ethico-political, and environmental disasters. The term 'right-to-heal' is meant to criticize architectural practices that perpetuate crises and to contrast them to examples that are committed to imagining the future of social, global, and climate justice."

The Radcliffe Institute has supported the work of 50 fellows annually in the arts, humanities, sciences, and social sciences to focus on an individual project while benefiting from a multidisciplinary community at Harvard University.

"I am happy to be among the very few architectural scholars to be awarded this prize from a respected research institution that hosts scholars, professionals, and artists from all disciplines and around the world," says Akcan.

Akcan will complete her Radcliffe fellowship during the academic year 2019–20.

By Patti Witten

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