As Vladimir Putin reminded the world by insisting that Ukraine never existed shortly before invading the country, empires are rarely content to seize the future of a colonized people—they also seek to conquer their past. When identity and heritage become targets, architectural history becomes one of many battlefields. Even after the guns finally fall silent, the process of recovering local identities in a post-colonial condition is complicated by the fact that historical traces of empires often remain, and at times become interwoven with a place and its peoples. Some imperial artifacts must be dismantled, but can others be reframed or repurposed to serve empowering, conciliatory, or otherwise democratic purposes?
Organizers invite submissions for a groundbreaking virtual transcontinental conference to be hosted jointly in Kyiv and Charleston from November 18-19. The conference seeks studies exploring the ways that architectural and urban history can serve as tools in the recovery of histories that have been erased, denied, or otherwise attacked in the course of imperial conquest and colonization. Organizers are also keenly interested in the ways in which the telling of history and construction of heritage can be used to reframe or re-appropriate the architectural and urban legacies of empires. The latter is especially important in contexts where the old weapons of oppression wielded by ostensibly dead regimes continue to do harm in the present, sometimes by making their way into new hands.
The deadline for submissions is 15 July 2022. Please email 300-word abstracts and CVs, and/or any questions, to: