Telling Transnational Histories of Women in Architecture, 1960–2015
AuthorBurns, K; Brown, L
Source TitleArchitectural Histories
PublisherUbiquity Press, Ltd.
University of Melbourne Author/sBurns, Karen
AffiliationArchitecture, Building and Planning
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsBurns, K. & Brown, L. (2020). Telling Transnational Histories of Women in Architecture, 1960–2015. Architectural Histories, 8 (1), https://doi.org/10.5334/ah.403.
Access StatusOpen Access
This essay uses an emergent transnational research project — a global encyclopaedia of women in architecture — as a site for unsettling the terms, chronology, and geography of feminist histories of architecture. By locating feminist architectural history in multiple geographies and histories, feminist practice can attend to the specific geopolitics of architecture and knowledge. This project uses a crowdsourced approach, rooted in local regional reference groups and writers, to facilitate a greater range of entries, voices, and expertise. Transnational histories are generated from difference and disseminate diverse models of architectural practice and lives. Biography is a central tool for providing these counter-narratives of architecture. In this essay feminist scholarship of the 1980s on women’s lives provides a critical foundation for the current biographical turn in journalism and academia. Life writing has long been foundational to women’s history writing, but contemporary biography, with its strategies of visibility, de-canonisation, and mobilisation around gender identity, also provides an affective politics for contemporary architectural feminism. The global turn in architectural history is enriched by an intersectional lens, capable of mapping the myriad geographies and differences of women’s lives, and the precise contours of agency and oppression.
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