Swati Chattopadhyay: Ephemeral by Design

Overlaid white and blue transparent shapes, bird shapes.

Ceiling of the pandal of Tridhara Sammilani, Kolkata, India. Gauranga Kuila, Designer (2017). image / Swati Chattopadhyay

Swati Chattopadhyay is a professor in the Department of History of Art and Architecture, and an affiliated faculty in the Department of Comparative Literature at the University of California–Santa Barbara. An architect and architectural historian, she specializes in modern architecture and urbanism, and the cultural landscape of the British empire.

She is the author of Representing Calcutta: Modernity, Nationalism, and the Colonial Uncanny (2005); Unlearning the City: Infrastructure in a New Optical Field (2012); and the coeditor with Jeremy White of City Halls and Civic Materialism: Towards a Global History of Urban Public Space (2014), and Routledge Companion to Critical Approaches to Contemporary Architecture (2019). Her current work includes two digital humanities projects, Mapping the Ephemeral, and Bookscapes. Her forthcoming book is titled, A Geography of Small Spaces. 

Her awards include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, American Institute of Indian Studies, Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, J. Paul Getty Foundation, Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study, National Science Foundation, and a distinguished visiting fellowship from Queen Mary University of London. She has served as a director of the Subaltern-Popular Workshop, a University of California Multicampus Research Group, and as the editor of the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians. In 2018 she was named a fellow of the Society of Architectural Historians for a lifetime of significant contribution to the field. She is a founding editor of PLATFORM.

Introduction by Esra Akcan

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