Staged Encounters | Embodiment, Architecture, and Urbanism
Spring 2020 Mellon Forum on the Urban Environment
February 25 / Displacement
Displacement has been used to refer to the forcible removal of populations through militaristic, legislative, and financial acts. Displacement is also a process of forgetting, denial, and homogenization: forgetting who and what came before; a denial and (state, academic, and social) sanctioning of the violence of displacement; and a homogenization or flattening out of the multiplicity of subjects and agonisms that constitute a population, space, or state. This panel will consider how ritual and performance can serve as a response to survive or subvert acts of displacement, the ways in which architecture, urban space, or aesthetics are instrumentalized to produce dominating forms of national and racial identity as well as exclude those who are not represented by these hegemonic forms of life, and how notions such as “community,” “belonging,” or “memory” might influence or support processes of urban development and displacement.
The Spring 2020 Mellon Forum asks how does the built environment influence how we perceive and feel race? How might design work for and against the disabled body? What are architectural design and urban planning’s political capacity in the twenty-first century? This forum series privileges the site of the body (in its raced, gendered, and abled aspects) to think through what the role of architecture and urbanism is in the twenty-first century. Rather than offering design-based solutions to social issues, it thinks of how architecture stages the body and, thus, impacts how we frame and interpret social inequality. It attends to how design influences the way we understand diversity, discrimination, and inclusion. It explores the embodied ways marginalized communities perform with and against the built environment. It looks at the social, economic, and political contexts that allow the built environment to manifest its own order, logic, and effects.
The Spring 2020 Mellon Forum is organized by Kinohi Nishikawa, Department of English, and Ashlie Sandoval, Princeton Mellon Fellow. The Mellon Forum is supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Humanities Council, Center for Collaborative History, Department of Art + Archaeology, Program in American Studies, and the School of Architecture.