4.307 / 4.308
Art, Architecture, and Urbanism in Dialogue — Monument Matters

Undergraduates: 4.301 or 4.302 or permission of instructor
Lab Fee: 
There will be NO lab fee for Fall 2020
UG: 4.307, G: 308, Limited to 20

From Birmingham, Alabama to Antwerp, Belgium, the recent removal and defacing of monuments to Confederate and imperialist leaders marks a new wave in our stream of struggles over haunting legacies. Some believe that removing these statues is an attempt to erase or cover up history. For others, it is a means to confront violence, racism, and oppression in history and at present. This advanced course initiates a dialogue between art, architecture, and urbanism by focusing on intellectual debates about and critical interventions on monuments. We will discuss a range of themes related to politics of memory and commemoration, from trauma, iconoclasm, and censorship, over ethics of preservation, to the agency of monuments in relation to colonialism, nationalism, social justice, and democracy.  The research component involves a group work on a “Dictionary of Monument Matters,” through which we will analyze methodologies of practitioners who intertwine these three disciplines in a critical spatial practice addressing traumatic, troubling, or toxic memory.  Lectures, screenings, readings, and discussions with guests and faculty will inform the development of individual projects: a monument or an intervention on an existing site of memory chosen by students.

Additional work required of students taking the graduate version.