Writing the History of the Built Environments of Asia: Materiality, Translations, and Colonialism

Call for Abstracts for Annual HAUS Research Symposium, April 22, 2022
Organized by the doctoral students of Cornell University’s History of Architecture and Urban Development program, Writing the History of the Built Environments of Asia: Materiality, Translations, and Colonialism seeks to discuss new approaches that prioritize material cultures in studying the colonial built environments of Asia. Organizers invite PhD students to rethink together the previously established disciplinary and geographical boundaries of the large continent by focusing on cross-border connections, extractive economies, global and local translations, and multispecies entanglements.
The term “Asia” has been used to refer to vast and different lands including those in West Asia, Central Asia, South Asia, and South East Asia. In organizers’ reimagination, knowledge on “Asia” acknowledges the multiplicities of these different lands, as well as connections, monetary exchanges, and translations within, into, and from it. Part of organizers’ intention in broadening the scope of our understanding of Asia and the built environment, both conceptually and methodologically, is to extend beyond the previously limited frameworks consisting of architecture and landscape. Organizers call for studies of the environment that include previously understudied material aspects and agents of the built environment. This material ecology includes but is not limited to, fluid or abject materialities, living and dead organisms, and apparatuses that complicate the constructed categories, which would unsettle established official narratives, colonial efforts, and human-centric ontologies.
Please submit your paper title and abstract (250-300 words) with your name and affiliation by 7 March, 2022 via the submission form. Authors of accepted papers will be notified by March 11, 2022, via email, and will be asked to submit a full draft (3,000-3,200 words) by April 11, 2022. The online symposium will host Nida Rehman, Lucian & Rita Caste Assistant Professor in the School of Architecture, Carnegie Mellon University, as the keynote speaker.

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