International Womxn’s Week Keynote Address: Anooradha Iyer Siddiqi
Womxn in Design‘s seventh annual International Womxn’s Week convenes a weeklong series of events that gathers members of the Harvard GSD community and beyond to celebrate and cultivate new ways of thinking about gender and power. This year’s theme is Intersectional Spaces of Care.
Anooradha Iyer Siddiqi (she/her) was born in Chennai, India, and specializes in histories of architecture, modernity, and migration, centering African and South Asian questions of historicity and archives, heritage politics, and feminist and colonial practices. Her scholarship aims to foreground histories of marginalized people and figures and promote practices of collaboration and support, especially concerning the lives and narratives of communities that have been systematically excluded or silenced. Thinking through objects, buildings, and landscapes, her work examines intellectual histories and diverse forms of esthetic practice and cultural production.
Professor Siddiqi’s book manuscript Architecture of Migration: The Dadaab Refugee Camps and Humanitarian Settlement (Duke University Press, forthcoming) analyzes the history, visual rhetoric, and spatial politics of the Dadaab refugee camps in Northeastern Kenya, as an epistemological vantage point in the African and Islamic worlds. Drawing from many years of archival, ethnographic, and visual research in East Africa, South Asia, and Europe, it moves beyond ahistorical representations of camps and their inhabitants, finding long migratory and colonial traditions in the architecture, spatial practices, material culture, and iconography of refugees and humanitarians. Her book manuscript Minnette de Silva and a Modern Architecture of the Past engages the intellectual and heritage work of one of the first women in the world to establish a professional architectural practice and an important cultural figure in the history of Ceylon/Sri Lanka. These two projects inform Professor Siddiqi’s wider body of research on histories of architecture, craft, settlement, and land, experiences of migration and territorial partition, and constructions of the past through architectural practice, pedagogy, and discourse on the African continent and South Asian subcontinent. Her writings appear in Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, The Journal of Architecture, Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, South Asia Chronicle, Humanity, Grey Room, Ardeth, e-flux Architecture, The Funambulist, Perspecta, Harvard Design Magazine, Platform, and The Avery Review. She is the co-editor of the multi-platform collection Feminist Architectural Histories of Migration (Architecture Beyond Europe, Canadian Center for Architecture, Aggregate) and Spatial Violence (Architectural Theory Review, republished by Routledge). She is a contributor to the volumes Writing Architectural History: Evidence and Narrative in the Twenty-First Century (University of Pittsburgh Press), Architecture and the Housing Question (Routledge), and Things Don’t Really Exist Until You Give Them A Name: Unpacking Urban Heritage (Mkuki na Nyota).
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