Sophie Hochhäusl, Princeton Mellon Fellow, In Conversation with Davy Knittle (UPenn) and Emmanuel Olunkwa (Columbia)

NEW DATE AND TIME: Thursday, October 15 at 1pm EST

Memories of the Resistance: Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky and the Architecture of Collective Dissidence

Sophie Hochhäusl, Princeton Mellon Fellow
In Conversation with Davy Knittle (UPenn) and Emmanuel Olunkwa (Columbia)


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Today Austrian architect Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky (1897-2000) has been widely recognized as one of the most significant female figures in modern design who worked in Austria, Germany, the Soviet Union, and Turkey in the 1920s and 1930s. These decades of professional work were marked by a drastic break between 1940 and 1945, when Schütte-Lihotzky was interned for her participation in the Communist resistance against the Nazi regime. Her recollections from the years of internment became the subject of the 1984 German-language book Erinnerungen aus dem Widerstand (Memories of the Resistance).

The research talk Memories of the Resistance explores Schütte-Lihotzky’s book as a critical historical document that provides glimpses into dissident spatial practices of architects, artists, and journalists in Istanbul, Belgrade, Paris, and New York. It theorizes how resistance became activated by solidarity and collective action and how the spatialization of organized dissent unfolded in conditions of exile and migration. The talk will be accompanied by excerpted reading from the translation of Schütte-Lihotzky’s 1984 memoir.

Davy Knittle (he/they) is a Ph.D. candidate in English at the University of Pennsylvania, where he teaches in the Urban Studies and Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies programs. Davy works at the intersection of the environmental humanities, queer and trans theory, and critical race theory. His critical work has appeared recently or is forthcoming in WSQ: Women's Studies Quarterly, GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, and Planning Perspectives. He is a 2020-2021 graduate fellow with the Penn Program in Environmental Humanities, a reviews editor for the poetics journal Jacket2, and he curates the City Planning Poetics talk and reading series at the Kelly Writers House at Penn.

Emmanuel Olunkwa is an artist, writer, editor, and filmmaker based in New York. His work brings deep study and surprising connection across youth culture, fashion, urban landscape, and social ecology. He is a Master’s candidate at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture in the Critical, Curatorial, and Conceptual Practices program. His work has been published in Artforum, The Pioneer Works Broadcast, Cultured Magazine, the Museum of Modern Art, and he is the co-founder of November Magazine.

Photo: Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky and Wilhelm Schütte in their apartment in Istanbul from where resistance activities were organized, Istanbul, Turkey, 1939. Source: University of Applied Arts, Collection and Archive, Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky Papers, Photo Collection, F-151.