Expanding the Canon: Women in Architecture

Expanding the Canon: Women in Architecture

Kathleen James-Chakraborty

November 20, 2017 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

This lecture is organized by Stephanie Lee and ElDante Winston on behalf of the MIT Chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architecture Students.

One of the many reasons that women and minorities face such challenges in succeeding as architects in the United States and many other places is the ways in which we construct the canon of buildings that matter to exclude many past successes and thus to diminish their impact upon our awareness of what such architects have and can achieve. How is the success of a building defined? How is innovation identified? How are commercial factors credited? And how is collaboration identified? These are not new questions; feminists and other activists have been asking them now for nearly half a century. Nonetheless by offering a number of new examples, I hope to provide diverse models for how the profession can become more inclusive, including through a greater activism.

Ms. James-Chakraborty, a historian, is professor of art history at the University College Dublin. She has also taught at the University of California, Berkeley; the Ruhr-Universität Bochum; and the University of Minnesota. Her most recent books include Architecture since 1400 (Minnesota, 2014) and two edited collections, India in Art in Ireland (Routledge, 2016) and Bauhaus Culture: From Weimar to the Cold War (Minnesota, 2006). Ms. James-Chakraborty received her B.A. from Yale University and her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.