This year’s hybrid 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 twentieth 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 of fascism, colonialism, imperialism, and capitalism during the 1900s.
The selected Papers will 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 welcomed works that sheds light on the histories of contested spaces and architectures and on voices of anticolonial agency, heterogeneity, and intersectional diversity.