Term: Winter 2022
Section: 2
Class Number: 603
Credits: 3
Required: No
Elective: Yes

/ ARCH 603

Future Pasts: Unsettling Architecture

The summer of racial reckoning in 2020 brought discourses on decolonization, antiracism, and intersectional feminism to the fore of architectural pedagogy. Students rightly demanded that the teaching of architecture acknowledge the colonial, white supremacist, and patriarchal roots of the discipline and construct new histories from decolonizing, antiracist, and intersectional approaches. This course aims to follow these demands and explore their implications for the history of architecture.

The survey of architecture performed in typical architectural history courses is intimately related to the colonial survey of land; each survey produces a resource (“architecture” in the survey course and “property” in the land survey) that allows colonialism to profit from what it seizes. Architectural surveys of great monuments necessarily imbricate architecture with privilege, capital, and exploited and racialized labor–basic components, that is, of racial capitalism and white supremacy. These surveys thereby favor the white, male, and entitled artist independent of the systems of production and reproduction of human and non-human agents that sustain the planet. In order to teach a history of architecture that is decolonizing, antiracist, and intersectional, then, we must both unlearn and relearn the discipline.

This experimental seminar will assay histories of architecture that aim to unsettle the discipline; its aim is to produce a syllabus or syllabi for undergraduate and graduate lecture courses in architectural history, and/or develop related pedagogies and assignments. All enrollments will require permission from the instructor; interested students should email both instructors (, with a short letter explaining their interest in the course and their background in scholarship around colonialism and racial capitalism.


Tue 3:00-6:00pm  270 Tappan


Andrew Herscher