Diasporic Modernities / Dissident Domesticities

Seminar Topical Questions in the History and Theory of Architecture (052-0852-23)
Organizer: Visiting Lectureship Kennedy
Lecturers: Dr. Hollyamber Kennedy
Time: Thursdays, 11.45-13.30
Location: HIT J 53

This seminar begins with the premise that the modern built environment has been shaped in relation to migration, diaspora, and displacement. In this class, we will explore the ways in which settlement and migration are continuously enacted in relation to one another, tracing the ways in which architectural knowledge is created alongside transience and marginalization, bringing to the fore longstanding entanglements between land and architecture. Unstitching the fabric of empire and capitalism’s violently guarded “worlding” capacities, we will think through the insurgent labor of inhabitance at the small-scale, in precarious everyday circumstances, militarized zones of occupation, across the contested commons of formerly colonized lands, in humanitarian camps and refugee cities. By and large, these spaces are contemporary embodiments of a transformation in relations between bodies, capital, and land that has its roots in the 16th century.

Thinking with Sara Ahmed, Anooradha Iyer Siddiqi, and others whose work provides a powerful framework for rethinking the relationship between belonging, dispossession, and the built, we will explore the effort that goes into “uprooting” and “regrounding” homes, challenging the naturalization of homes as origins: “Being grounded,” Ahmed writes, “is not necessarily about being fixed; being mobile is not necessarily about being detached.” The readings will engage recent scholarship in architectural historiography, including the on-going work of the research collective Insurgent Domesticities, which “draws on practices that emerge from and constitute interiority, which transform the figurations, materiality, and narrations of ‘home’ and ‘domesticity’ within the present worldwide protectionist climate, in which ‘home’ is still a fiercely pursued, maintained, and guarded space.”
Insurgent Domesticities


I - UNEARTHING: Re-reading Displacement and Insurgent Inhabitation
Seminar 01— 23.02.2023: Unlearning Empire from the Margins: The Land and Landscape Bears Witness
Seminar 02— 02.03.2023: ‘Togethering’: Writing with Migration, Writing with the Land
Guest speaker Julien Lafontaine Carboni

Seminar 03— 09.03.2023: Symposium: Concept Histories of Settlement
Seminar 04— 16.03.2023: Inhabiting Displacement, Renegotiating Domesticity
II — UPROOTING: New Histories of Dwelling, Dissidence, and Exile
Seminar 05— 30.03.2023: Dwelling, Dissidence, and Refugee Cities
Seminar 06— 06.04.2023: Against Regimes of ‘Emptiness’
Seminar 07— 20.04.2023: Architectures of Statelessness, Infrastructures of Dependency
III — REGROUNDING: Narrating Unsettlement and the Spaces of Migration
Seminar 08— 27.04.2023: Diasporic Refrains, the Poetry of Inhabitation
Seminar 09— 04.05.2023: Listening in on Enclosure: Film screening, ‘Not Just Roads,’ and discussion with Nitin Bathla
Seminar 10— 11.05.2023: Experiments with Form: Roundtable and Presentations of Student Work


Seminar 01Anooradha Iyer Siddiqi and Rachel Lee, “On Margins: Feminist Architectural Histories of Migration” and Hollyamber Kennedy, “To Unearth and To Trace / To Bury and To Banish” 
Seminar 02Julien Lafontaine Carboni, “Undrawn Spatialities: Architectural Archives in the Light of the History of the Sahrawi Refugee Camps”  and Anooradha Iyer Siddiqi, “Writing With: Togethering, Difference and Feminist Architectural Histories of Migration”
Seminar 03
Seminar 04Somayeh Chitchian, “Inhabitation: A Story of Return”  and Irit Katz, “Architecture on the Move: (Re)Creating a Place in a Displaced World” 
Seminar 05S.E. Eisterer, “Spatial Practices of Dissidence: Identity, Fragmentary Archives, and the Austrian Resistance In Exile, 1938-1945” and Sanaa Alimia, “Bulldozers and Violence in a Pakistani Settlement” 
Seminar 06Samia Henni, “Against the Regimes of ‘Emptiness” and Ariella Aïsha Azoulay, “Imperial Desert Effect: Palestine is There, Where it Had Always Been” 
Seminar 07Diana Martinez, “An Archipelago of Interiors: The Philippine Supermall as Infrastructure of Diaspora”
Seminar 08Huda Tayob, “Transnational Practices of Care and Refusal
Seminar 09

Extra readings

Seminar 01Bell Hooks, “The Margin as a Space of Radical Openness” , Lucy Mayblin and Joe Turner “Time and Space: Migration and Modernity"  and Rafico Ruiz, "Slow Disturbance: Infrastructural Mediation on the Settler Colonial Frontier"
Seminar 02Sara Ahmed, “Bringing Feminist Theory Home” , Anooradha Iyer Siddiqi, “Dadaab is a Place on Earth: Land and the Migrant Archive”  and Anna María León, “Lina Bo Bardi as Migrant: from Collector to Cohabitant”
Seminar 03
Seminar 04Victoria K. Sakti and Megha Amrith, “Introduction: Living in the ‘Here and Now’: Extended Temporalities of Forced Migration”  and Menna Agha, “It Is Not a Desert Where Grandmother Sits" 
Seminar 05Maja Momic, “Between Inhabitation and Dwelling: (Im)Mobilities in Everyday Life”  and Anoma Pieris, “Occupying the Center: Indigenous Presence in the Australian Capital City” 
Seminar 06Sara Ahmed, “Home and Away: Narratives of Migration and Estrangement”  and Anne-Marie Fortier, “Making Home: Queer Migrations and Motions of Attachment” 
Seminar 07Manuel Schvartzberg Carrió, “Infrastructures of Dependency: US Steel’s Architectural Assemblages on Indigenous Lands”  and Itohan Osayimwese, “Architecture, Migration, and Spaces of Exception in Europe” , Anooradha Iyer Siddiqi and Vazira Fazila-Yacoobali Zamindar, “Partitions: Architectures of Statelessness” and Georgina Ramsay, “Incommensurable Futures and Displaced Lives: Sovereignty as Control Over Time” 
Seminar 08Krista Thompson, “‘I WAS HERE BUT I DISAPPEAR’: Ivanhoe ‘Rhygin’ Martin and Photographic Disappearance in Jamaica”  and Anooradha Iyer Siddiqi, “Humanitarian Homemaker, Emergency Subject: Questions of Shelter and Domesticity” 
Seminar 09Jennifer Ferng, “Climatic Privilege and Transnational Labor in Singapore” and Debjani Bhattacharyya, Empire and Ecology in the Bengal Delta: The Making of Calcutta 


Dr. Holly Amber Kennedy
Carolina Contreras Alvarez