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Publication Detail
Provincialising the Architectural Canon
  • Publication Type:
    Conference presentation
  • Authors:
    Sengupta T
  • Date:
  • Name of Conference:
    Canon Makers, Canon Breakers
  • Conference place:
    The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL
Taking a queue from the postcolonial critic Dipesh Chakrabarty’s call to ‘provincialise Europe’ (the symbolic fount of western thought) by recovering other marginalised histories especially of the so called non-western worlds, I will reflect on some of the problematic assumptions that till today underpin and permeate the discipline and histories of architecture. It is within these highly pre-figured canonical and normative contexts that any architectural narrative of other cultures and contexts has to struggle to find a place in terms of legitimacy and expression. I will then draw on a few key concepts from postcolonial theory to make the case for a more plural and culturally variegated view of architecture that challenge or complicate the canon. Such a view, I argue, can potently enrich architectural histories and designs as well as form the architect and the architectural historian as far more situated and globally and socially responsive agents.
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