• I Pity the Countries: Comparative Spatial Histories of Settler Colonialism, Race & Podcast
    Maura Lucking and Charles Davis II
    Hosts and Organizers
    Society of Architectural Historians-Race and Architectural History Affiliate Group

Logo for "Race &" podcast series. Courtesy of Society of Architectural Historians (SAH) Race and Architectural History Affiliate Group

Borrowing its title from an iconic First Nations Mi’kmaq protest song, “I Pity the Countries” responds to recent critiques of settler colonial studies as a white centering, homogenizing discourse, asking how we ethically tell these ongoing stories of colonization across architectural and spatial practices alongside those of localized resistance, survivance, and refusal. Race & is a five-episode podcast series that explores the influence of race and race thinking on the built environment through collaboratively developed audio plays, conversations, and interviews by emerging scholars in architectural history. The series engages with designers, activists, and theorists of settler colonial studies, indigenous studies, and comparative ethnic studies, and is hosted by Maura Lucking (University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee) and Charles L. Davis II (University of Texas, Austin). Topics include territoriality and cultivation by Italian and Ethiopian colonies in Eritrea; the politics and processes of indigenous repatriation in urban spaces in Mexico; overlapping French and American infrastructures impacting effigy mounds around the Great Lakes; and the uses and abuses of Kānaka Maoli architectures and land use models by white settlers and military actors in Hawaii. The series highlights both the diverse geographies and experiences of Indigenous peoples in settler states and interpret or challenge core themes in the field as they apply to histories of the built environment. The use of comparative and connected frameworks foregrounds the globalization of indigenous networks of relation and agency to decolonial processes, including the development of architectural methods for working across divergent settler colonial presents. Ultimately, the series seeks to produce new scholarship and connect international networks of scholars and graduate students. The podcast aims to provide a platform to bring together these rich but sometimes disparate scholarly conversations and to create a series of multimodal teaching tools to make this work accessible to a broad audience of educators and students as well as architectural scholars.

Maura Lucking is an assistant professor of architectural history at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a PhD candidate at the University of California, Los Angeles. Lucking’s dissertation provides an architectural history of the Land Grant campus, studying the relationship between campus planning and craft, design, and architecture pedagogy as a connected history of Black and Indigenous dispossession after the United States Civil War. Another research interest considers sociotechnical histories of architectural representation and paperwork, including mechanical drawing & blueprinting, architectural photography, and mortgage and loan documents. Lucking’s work has been supported by the Winterthur Museum, the Huntington Library, the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, the Society for Architectural Historians, and the Getty Research Institute and most recently appears in Grey Room, Getty Research Journal and Journal of Architectural Education.

Charles L. Davis II is an associate professor of architecture at the University of Texas at Austin, where he teaches design studios and history & theory. Davis’s research examines the racial discourses of nineteenth-century Euro-American architectural style debates and their long-term effects on contemporary practice. Davis’s book, Building Character: The Racial Politics of Modern Architectural Style (2019) traces the historical integrations of race and style theory in architectural organicism and the strategies of design that personified buildings to mirror the characteristics of the populations they served. Davis coedited Race and Modern Architecture: A Critical History from the Enlightenment to the Present with Irene Cheng and Mabel Wilson to challenge architects and historians to “write race back into architectural history.” These research projects have been supported by the Canadian Centre for Architecture, the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, the University of Pennsylvania, and UNC Chapel Hill.

The Society of Architectural Historians promotes the study, interpretation and conservation of architecture, design, landscapes, and urbanism worldwide for the benefit of all.