The research symposium on Gender and Academic Leadership in Architecture in India will examine the engagement of women and persons of minoritized genders and sexualities in the construction of the academy, architectural knowledge, professional identity, and academic practice. While the academy in India is often viewed as a softer, more flexible, an almost feminized alternative to practicing professionally for women (who have the culturally pre-ordained role of being the primary carer for the family), or a possible safe space for queer persons (whose bodies and knowledges are otherwise invisibilized or violently erased), academic leadership roles have not been always accessible. Whilst this is now changing, a vast majority of these positions are still being held either by men, or by privileged savarna academics and those with access to intergenerational wealth and social networks.
The symposium is interested in feminist forms of leadership. Even though we will be looking for alternatives to patriarchal conventions of leadership, we will not ignore the positions of power sanctified by institutional designations. The intent of the symposium is to bring recognition to teaching and research as practice; highlight and discuss structural changes needed to empower co-faculty and students to be in preparation for the next generation of academic leaders, and add focus to the importance of mentoring and reflective praxis.