Professors Galán and Ghoche will convene a session called "Urban Dislocations and the Architecture of Diasporas (1900-present). They currently co-teach a class by the same name. Guest speakers will discuss topics such as Chinatowns, gentrification, HIV/AIDS, the Haitian diaspora, the Jewish settlement of Hebron, urban renewal in Chicago, and the urban evolution of Luanda, Angola. The session abstract is as follows:

Cities tend to be chronicled by the achievements of the dominant cultures that were responsible for their rise. Often lost in these narratives, however, are the manifold contributions of non-native newcomers, immigrants, refugees, outsiders, and expatriates who played a formative role in shaping and re-purposing urban environments. Neighborhoods like San Francisco's Chinatown, or New York's Loisaida, for example, were refashioned by century-long migrations from Asia and Latin America. They are as much spaces of global exchange and cohabitation as they are discontinuous enclaves; cities within cities. To study these urban enclaves is to challenge what traditional discourses on the city tend to privilege: the continuity between architectural objects and the local contexts within which they are situated. 

The session brings to light the paradoxical nature and hybridity of cities, drawing attention to both the economic, cultural, and technological connections and exchanges, while also uncovering the 'disjuncture' of these urban conditions. It delineates the formal and informal processes by which displaced groups have occupied and reshaped existing structures or territories and those that describe the transglobal networks that have facilitated these transformations. Papers in this session play special attention to the critical role that individuals, community groups, and activist collectives play in the appropriation, spatial transformation, and re-signification of existing structures and environments. 


For more information about the conference, please refer to the website: