Publication

  • Race and Modern Architecture
    Irene Cheng, Charles L. Davis II, and Mabel O. Wilson
    Editors
    Esra Akcan, Adrienne Brown, Luis Carranza, Jiat-Hwee Chang, Mark Crinson, Kenny Cupers, Addison Godel, Dianne Harris, Andrew Herscher, Reinhold Martin, Brian McLaren, Joanna Merwood-Salisbury, Peter Minosh, Adedoyin Teriba, and Lisa Uddin
    Contributors
    University of Pittsburgh Press, 2018
  • GRANTEE
    Irene Cheng, Charles L. Davis II & Mabel O. Wilson
    GRANT YEAR
    2017

William Gilpin, Cosmopolitan Railway: Compacting and Fusing Together All the World's Continents (San Francisco: the History Company, 1890).

Race and Modern Architecture presents a collection of seventeen groundbreaking essays by distinguished scholars writing on the critical role of racial theory in shaping architectural discourse, from the Enlightenment to the present. The book, which grows out of a collaborative, interdisciplinary, multi-year research project, redresses longstanding neglect of racial discourses among architectural scholars. With individual essays exploring topics ranging from the role of race in eighteenth-century, Anglo-American neoclassical architecture, to 1970s radical design, the book reveals how the racial has been deployed to organize and conceptualize the spaces of modernity, from the individual building to the city to the nation to the planet.

Irene Cheng is assistant professor of architecture at the California College of the Arts. She holds a PhD and an MArch from Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and a BA from Harvard College. She is currently working on a book about utopian architectural and urban plans in nineteenth-century America, based on dissertation research supported by a Graham Foundation Carter Manny Award. She has taught on race and architecture, and is the author of the essay "Race and Architectural Geometry," published in J19: The Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists, in 2015. She is, with Bernard Tschumi , coeditor of The State of Architecture at the Beginning of the Twenty-First Century.

Charles L. Davis II is an assistant professor of architectural history at the State University of New York at Buffalo. He holds a PhD in architecture from the University of Pennsylvania, and an MArch from the State University of New York at Buffalo. His forthcoming monograph, Building Character: the Racial Politics of Modern Architectural Style, is supported by a grant from the Graham Foundation. His essay "Viollet-le-Duc and the Body," which examines the role of race theory in the work of Eugene Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc, was published in Architectural Research Quarterly in 2010. He is also coeditor of Diversity and Design (2015), which limns the affect of diversity on contemporary and historical design practices.

Mabel O. Wilson is an associate professor at Columbia University's GSAPP, where she teaches architectural design and history/theory courses. She is also appointed as a research fellow at the Institute for Research in African American Studies (IRAAS), and codirects Global Africa Lab (GAL). In 2011, she was honored as a United States Artists Ford Fellow in Architecture and Design. Her book Negro Building: Black Americans in the World of Fairs and Museums (University of California Press 2012) was a runner-up for John Hope Franklin Prize for the best American Studies publication in 2012. She is currently the Ailsa Mellon Bruce Senior Fellow (2015–16) at the National Gallery of Art's Center for Advanced Study in Visual Art, where she is developing the manuscript for Building Race and Nation: How Slavery Influenced the Civic Architecture of Antebellum America. She received her MArch from Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and her PhD in American Studies from New York University.