Urban Dislocations and the Architecture of Diasporas

April 15, 2019
Assistant Professor Ralph Ghoche and Term Assistant Professor Ignacio G. Galán recently chaired a panel entitled "Urban Dislocations and the Architectures of Diasporas" at the Annual Conference of the Association for Art History in Brighton. The panel challenged the way in which cities are conventionally chronicled by the achievements of the dominant cultures that were responsible for their rise. Building an alternative to this tendency, the papers discussed in this panel considered the manifold contributions of non-native newcomers, immigrants, refugees, outsiders, and expatriates who played a formative role in shaping and re-purposing urban environments. Neighbourhoods 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. Papers in this session paid special attention to the critical role that individuals, community groups, and activist collectives play in the appropriation, spatial transformation, and resignification of existing structures and environments. For more information on each of the papers, visit: 
 
 
The panel extends the work currently developed by Profs. Ghoche and Galán in their homonymous class at The Barnard+Columbia Architecture Department. The class, which they are co-teaching thanks to a grant from the Committee in Diversity and Inclusion, is being offered in the Spring of 2019.