Guest editors: Claire Jamieson, Torsten Lange, and Lucía C. Pérez-Moreno
Over the course of the last decade, there has been a resurgence in feminist thinking and activism. Utilizing new tools and strategies for communication, women from all over the world and from different social and cultural backgrounds continue to strive for equal rights in the face of discrimination, sexism, and misogyny. In 2013, Ealasaid Munro argued that these recent developments mark a ‘fourth wave’ of feminism, characterized by its commitment to a ‘diversity of purpose’ that recognises intersectionality as a key issue of our time, and questioning established sex/gender systems and gender identity as a binary category. Simultaneously, this new wave is strongly associated with digital technology as a platform for previously marginalised voices. The aim of this Special Collection is to explore the impact of fourth wave feminism on architectural historiography.
Feminist architectural historiography emerged in parallel with the second wave of feminism in the 1960s and 1970s. It was chiefly concerned with women’s contribution to the production of the built environment, seeking to uncover the biographies of the first generation of women architects during the early modernist period. In the 1990s, the focus of feminist architectural history shifted, drawing from the insights of third wave feminism and queer theory’s critique of binary and hetero-normative definitions of gender. These histories interrogated the multiple relationships between space and the construction (and reinforcement) of gendered identities. Apart from destabilizing fixed categories, these authors also worked to dismantle master narratives, giving attention to micro-histories, everyday spaces, as well as unknown and marginal figures. As a result, a growing body of work began to address, in addition to gender, other axes of oppression such as class, age, ethnicity, sexuality, and religion, among others.
The editors of this Special Collection seek to explore what distinguishes current and emerging research from the previous five decades of writing feminist architectural histories. What knowledge of fourth wave feminism are we engaging with? How have questions, approaches, theoretical and analytical frameworks, and methodologies related to feminism evolved over time? What distinctly new features and concerns can we identify today?
In particular, this Special Collection aims to generate (meta) debates on fourth wave feminism within architectural history itself, engaging with the great number of recent publications, conferences, symposia, and exhibitions on this subject. We welcome articles that take a fresh look at the historiography of feminism from this contemporary perspective. Rather than single case studies, we ask that authors consciously situate their contributions in relation to broader global and technological contexts. Moreover, we aim for self-reflexive, intergenerational (with regard to previous feminist scholarship) and intersectional contributions.
This Call for papers is opened to contributions that:
- Consider histories (trajectories) of feminist architectural writing in relation to particular geographies and/or historical periods. Subjects from the pre-modern period — prior to the first generation of female architects and designers already explored by feminist architectural historians — and non-western geographies are encouraged. We welcome research on the work of hitherto unknown or unrecognized female historians, anthropologists, ethnographers, and ‘amateur’ writers, along with analysis of the idiosyncrasies of their chosen subject matters e.g. studies of folk art and architecture, and vernacular building. Indeed, how might further insights into pre-modern and non-western contexts shed more light on the historicity of ‘women’ as a category?
- Address ways in which our understanding of architecture is based on a patriarchal way of seeing the discipline. How does this reflect on architectural history? Could the gendered nature of pervasive notions of professionalism, expertise, and knowledge be challenged? What would it mean to assume that women have always been involved in the production of the material world/built environment, but that these instances were not recorded and thus erased from history?
- Present methodological discussions and creative strategies that work around such issues as absences and problems with empty or lost archives, and the lack of documented (female) names. This topic is particularly pertinent in relation to the study of fractured biographies, processes of migration and exile, or work in contexts where the status of personal and official records may be more vulnerable. In turn, this raises important questions about biography as a historiographical method, and the issue of persons/characters as historical agents more generally.
- Expose reflections and/or experiences in relation to the question of the digital and networked knowledge, and the concurrent shift from third wave feminism’s concern with individual/personal issues and micropolitics to newly emerging global alliances. To what extent can this shift to global alliances also be witnessed within historiography? As new ways of gathering and analysing (big) data emerge and open source bibliographies are being built and exchanged globally, is – or could there be – a shift away from microhistories, which focus on individual women, to studies that take into view larger time periods and geographies? Is this an advantage? Would this approach produce alternatives to canonical survey histories such as those by Pevsner, Giedion, Frampton et al.?
- Take a broader LGBTIQ/non-binary perspective – either through subject, historiography or methodology – to consider aspects of queer space and the queer identities of architects and/or architecture history and historiography.
Article proposals should be submitted in English, between 500-800 words. Submission should include a brief cover letter, contact information and author C.V.
Proposals will be reviewed by the editorial board. The authors of selected proposals will be asked to submit their full papers to the editors by 15 January 2019. All papers will be subject to blind peer reviewing.
Proposals Submission deadline: 22 July 2018
Authors will receive notification by 15 August 2018