Monday, March 9, 2015

Program of the 4th session of the NOMAD Seminar in Historiography

The Housing Question: Nomad Seminar in Historiography
Department of Art, Architecture + Art History
University of San Diego
March 12-13, 2015



Camino Hall 43
Noelle Norton, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, University of San Diego
Carmen Popescu
, Université Paris I-Sorbonne

10am - 12pm
Camino Hall 43
Michael McCulloch, University of Michigan
"Glass and Stones: Materials of Race and Neighborhood Violence in 1920s Detroit"
Sheila Crane, University of Virginia
"Dwelling in the State of Exception: Housing as Weapon in the Battles of Algiers"
Emrah Altinok, Istanbul Bilgi University
"To Have or Not to Have, That is the Question: The Unseen Dimensions of Housing Question in Turkey. The Case of TOKI, Istanbul in Post-2000 Period"
Respondent: Patricia Morton, UC Riverside
Moderator: Colin Fisher, University of San Diego

1:30pm - 3:00pm
Camino Hall 43
Ana María León, MIT
"Modern Architecture Will Help You. Buenos Aires, 1949"
Daria Bocharnikova, Harvard University
"After Solving Housing Crisis in the USSR: NER Diagram for Future Settlements"
Respondent: Sylvia Lavin, UCLA
Moderator: Avi Spiegel, University of San Diego

3:30pm - 5:30pm
Camino Hall 43
Discourses / Territories
Sabrina Shafique, University of Kansas
"Catherine Bauer and the Housing Question: The Social, Economic, and Humanitarian Turn in Design, 1934-1964"
Andrew Herscher, University of Michigan, and Dan Monk, Colgate University
"Humanitarianism and the Housing Question"
Kenny Cupers, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
"Human Territoriality and the Downfall of Public Housing"
Respondent: Michael Osman, UCLA
Moderator: Daniel López-Pérez, University of San Diego

Manchester Conference Center Auditorium
Opening Remarks: Andrew T. Allen, Vice President and Provost, University of San Diego
Reinhold Martin, Columbia University
"Housing and History: The Case of the Specific Intellectual"
with an introduction by Can Bilsel, University of San Diego

FRIDAY, MARCH 13, 2015

9am - 11am
Camino Hall 43
Types / Communities
Clare Robinson, University of Arizona
"Class, Ethnicity, and the Mid-Century Subdivision: Re-examining Pueblo Gardens"
Kimberly Zarecor, Iowa State University
"The Red Levittowns: Socialist Housing Estates as a Suburban Typology"
Kıvanç Kılınç, Yasar University, Izmir
"Nomadic Modern / Modern Vernacular: Social Housing Projects in Izmir (1950-1970)"
Respondent: Susanne Schindler, ETH Zurich
Moderator: Carmen Popescu, Université Paris I-Sorbonne

11:30am - 1:45pm
Camino Hall 43
Crises / Exclusions
Nandini Bagchee, CCNY, CUNY
"Housing and Activism in New York City"
Şebnem Yücel, Yasar University, Izmir
"Gentrifying Urla: Gated Communities and 'Landscapes of Privilege'"
Anooradha Iyer Siddiqi, Bryn Mawr College
"Humanitarian Shelter and the Making of the Emergency Subject"
Respondent: Juliana Maxim, University of San Diego
Moderator: Sally Yard, University of San Diego


Can Bilsel, University of San Diego

3pm - 4pm
Salk Institute, La Jolla

Saturday, March 24, 2012

3rd session of the Nomad seminar

The 3rd session of the Nomad Seminar, Narratives of Travel Writing and Architectural History, will be held in November 8-9 2012 at Middle East Technical University, Ankara. Go to seminar webpage.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

About the Nomad Seminar

Writing Art History. Linking center(s) and periphery(ies)
A ‘nomad’ seminar

The series of transformations that the disciplines of art and architectural history have been undergoing in recent years suggests a questioning of their methodologies and master narratives. This tectonic shift is mirrored by the increasing recent interest in the ‘geography of arts’, which seems to respond to the need of replacing the current ‘vertical’ art history by a ‘horizontal’ or a transnational one, as envisioned by Piotr Piotrowski. In other words, instead of an exclusive and directive discourse developed by and around centers, an inclusive and unifying perspective that includes peripheries.

As Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann has noted, the interest in the ‘geography of art’ is closely related to the reframing of the geopolitical context after 1989. Geopolitics has had a significant impact on writing art history and shaping its directive lines.  The different mappings (successive or synchronic) are responsible for the geocultural landscape and its tectonics. For instance, the East/ West confrontation followed a double-scale evolution in the last half of the century: the political polarization of the world during the Cold War turned, after the imagined but yet so powerful Iron Curtain was dismantled, into a ‘clash of civilizations’. In the current context, it seems appropriate to reassess the very concept of ‘geoculture’ and its articulations.

The Nomad Seminar bears the imprint of what appears as a predicament facing art and architectural history. Even if it has been stimulated by a geohistoric approach, the Nomad Seminar project does not aim to remap the geography of art and architectural history, but rather to question its very history. At the same time, it seeks to explore relationships between center(s) and periphery(ies), an enterprise fundamental for a ‘global’ art/ architectural history. Thus, the Nomad Seminar does not attempt to create a new, unifying, narrative of art and architectural history, but to bring together different perspectives with the goal of considering them as a polyphonic whole.

To facilitate this heterogeneous approach a structure developed in a series of meetings, forming a ‘nomad’ seminar. This structure permits focus on different themes as determined by and relevant to the institution hosting the seminar, while shifting the geocultural perspective.
Methodologically, we propose therefore a constant reframing of art and architectural history approach implies a deconstruction of the discourse of art and architectural history. Among the issues the ‘nomad’ seminar intends to discuss are:

-          Art history and its object. How does the very object of art history shape its discourse and determine its methodology? For instance, architecture is part of the general narrative of the periods from Antiquity up to the beginning of the 19th century; however, its historiography concerning the ‘era of modernity’ has evolved most often separately, as a sign of its ‘professionalization’. Architectural history seems to have evolved into a field reserved for architects, thus moving progressively away from the general discourse of art history, but also from the arena of interest for art historians.
-          Art history and its different chronologies. The characteristics of each period – especially in terms of geocultural framing – influence the narrative of its historiography. This is particularly apparent in the case of ‘peripheral’ areas: while the discourse concerning the art before the 19th century follows a local/ regional pattern, the discourse about the modern period is determined by the dynamic of major Western centers due the ‘universalization’ (transformed into ‘internationalization’/‘globalization’) of the language of art and architectural history.
-          Art history and memory. Does memory have any impact on the historiography of art history? Relevant examples are to be found particularly in controversial or conflicted heritages, such as colonial art or art claimed by two (or more) territories.
-          Art and its institutions. The artistic organizations and institutions active on a large geographical scale played a decisive role in forging the discourse of art and architectural history. The history of CIHA or the CIAM, for instance, mirrors the different shifts operated within the general narrative of art/ architectural history.

Aims. Due to its structure, the project aspires to have a pro-active and direct implication in re-thinking art history as a discipline. Not only it aims to contribute to the study of its historiography, but it also intends to offer concrete support to its teaching (and, hence, to the curricula of the hosting institution).  In addition, some of the papers to be presented in the six envisioned sessions (see below) will be gathered in a collective volume, thereby providing a tool of analysis for the current state of art/architectural history.

Carmen POPESCU, Coordinator
Nomad Seminar in Historiography