Curating Race Curating Space Symposium

Symposium poster, featuring Viacom Kiosk View 1, by Hank Willis Thomas, 2003. [Courtesy of Jack Shainman Gallery, NY, and Hank Willis Thomas]

On November 12, the University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning hosts a symposium, Curating Race Curating Space, followed by a launch party for CriticalProductive, a new biannual peer-reviewed academic journal dedicated to architecture, urbanism and cultural theory; the first issued is subtitled “Theoretic Action.”

As the quandary of how to redevelop depopulated cities and suburbs becomes a central public policy debate, and as rampant population growth proceeds in megacities across the globe, exhibitions become key components of public engagement with architecture, urbanism and their intersection with race. The symposium Curating Race Curating Space will aim to solidify the role theory, literary imagination and visual culture can play in architectural production — a production that has political, ethical, and social implications.

Participants will speak on the themes of theorizing race and space, representational practices and siting discourse. Participants will interrogate design, curatorial and exhibition practices as they confront issues of race and the city, and a burgeoning diverse polity of museumgoers. Placing race studies within the crucible of architectural thought yields benefits to an entire discipline that is struggling with globality and coming to terms with the increasing problems of urbanity left in the wake of modernization. How can new theorizations of diasporic identity and migration influence architectural production? What is the projected value of aesthetic ideology in relation to dominant discourses of sustainability and technological efficiency? How can race studies in architecture deepen the affiliation between architecture and an imagined community?


November 12, 2011
9 am – 4:30 pm
University of Michigan Museum of Art
Helmut Stern Auditorium
525 S. State St., Ann Arbor, Michigan

The event is free and open to the public. Doors open for a networking breakfast reception at 9 am. Lunch will be provided to all registered participants. Registration is not required, but RSVP is requested and is required to attend the lunch.

A reception and launch party for CriticalProductive will immediately follow the symposium at Rackham Assembly Hall, 925 E. Washington St.

Opening Remarks

Milton S. F. Curry, Associate Dean, Taubman College; Editor, CriticalProductive

Theorizing Race and Space

Madhu Dubey, Associate Professor of English, University of Illinois Chicago
Darrell W. Fields, Lecturer of Architecture, University of California Berkeley
Peter Gilgen, Associate Professor of German Studies, Cornell University
Tobias Wofford, Postdoctoral Fellow, History of Art, Johns Hopkins University

Representational Practices

Hansy Better, Principal, Studio Luz
Joan Kee, Assistant Professor of History of Art, University of Michigan
Amanda Williams, Adjunct Associate Professor of Architecture, Illinois Institute of Technology

Sites of Discourse

Matthew Biro, Professor and Chair, History of Art, University of Michigan
Sarah Ichioka Director, The Architecture Foundation
Olympia Kazi, Executive Director, Van Alen Institute
Andres Lepik, Loeb Fellow, Harvard University Graduate School of Design

For a full schedule and additional details, see the announcement from the University of Michigan.

Places is grateful for the support of a network of academic partners, all of which provide funding and advice. News items are provided by the partners.