Princeton Mellon Research Forum on the Urban Environment

Friday, Sep 15, 2017
by jw42

The Princeton Mellon Initiative in Architecture, Urbanism & the Humanities is pleased to announce its Fall 2017 research forum, curated by Andrew A. Johnson (Anthropology) and Curt Gambetta (Architecture).

A growing body of contemporary research about infrastructure in architecture, the humanities and social sciences takes as its object large-scale, seemingly immaterial infrastructures. Against assumptions about the invisibility of infrastructure, new scholarship accounts for the materiality of systems that range in time and scale from global networks and longue durée processes, to fleeting, microscopic phenomena. In working across different registers and sites, what possibilities and problems do work on materiality pose to theory, methods and critique? In order to understand this, our series creates dialogues across disciplinary boundaries that focus on a particular material, including water, carbon, biota, cargo and building materials, among others. In doing so, we seek to explore how material shapes the possibilities for human worlds, be they social, political, religious, cultural, or otherwise.

Session Schedule 

September 25 - Biota / 12PM / School of Architecture South Gallery
Stuart McLean (Minnesota)
Peder Anker (NYU)

Our material environment includes not only nonliving material and human inhabitants, but also a wide range of nonhuman biota: animals, plants, fungi, bacteria, etc. How are these disparate biota conceived of and brought into engineered landscapes, and how can such intertwinings of human and nonhuman complicate our understanding of nature and culture? In this session, anthropologist Stuart McLean (University of Minnesota) and historian Peder Anker (NYU) discuss how humans and other biota co-create the landscapes in which we live. Following each 15-minute talk, we will have a discussion facilitated by anthropologist Andrew Alan Johnson (Princeton).

October 9 - Air / 12PM / School of Architecture South Gallery
Erik Harms (Yale)
Enrique Ramirez (Ball State)
Oct 16 - Carbon / 12PM / School of Architecture South Gallery
Gökçe Gunel (Arizona)
Ateya Khorakiwala (Princeton-Mellon) 

November 15 - Cargo / 12PM / School of Architecture South Gallery
Jesse LeCavalier (NJIT)
Janell Rothenberg (UCLA) 

November 28 -  Building Materials / 12PM / School of Architecture South Gallery
Diana Martinez (Tufts)
Catherine Fennell (Columbia)
December 6 - Water / 12PM / School of Architecture South Gallery
Nikil Anand (Penn)
Mitch McEwen (Princeton)