Reading Group & lecture Series: Unmasking Space

Reading Group & lecture Series: Unmasking Space
September 22, 2020 Ludwig Berger

Reading Group & Lecture Series: Unmasking Space

Unmasking space is a reading group and safe space at ETH Zurich, an epistemic community around decolonizing knowledge. We are interested in unmasking the use of spatial design and representation in the construction of ideas of race, gender and other forms of othering and exploitation. We will meet online a total of 5 times in the autumn semester. Every session will start with a 30-minute presentation by a researcher working on unmasking, followed by a 1-hour discussion based on the presentation and a preselected reading. Through this epistemic community, our idea is to build a group for critical action in space.


Ludwig Berger
Nitin Bathla

Autumn Semester 2020

23.09.2020, 17:00-18:30 (!)
Denise Bertschi, an artist and doctoral researcher from EPFL-HEAD will present her research entitled Haunting Home. Her research explores the material links between the canton of Aargau and the Swiss colonial possessions in Bahia, Brazil.
Reading: Barbara Lüthi, Francesca Falk & Patricia Purtschert (2016) Colonialism without colonies: examining blank spaces in colonial studies, National Identities, 18:1, 1-9.

14.10.2020, 16:00-17:30
Ernest Sewordor: The Hinterland Question under Planetary Urbanisation—Exactions of Colonial Capitalism, Landscape Operationalisation, and Race in Ghana.
Reading: Brenner, N. and Katsikis, N. (2020), Operational Landscapes: Hinterlands of the Capitalocene. Archit. Design, 90: 22-31.

28.10.2020, 16:00-17:30
Jennifer Stoever, Associate Professor at SUNY Binghamton presents her unheard history of how race and racism are constructed from sound and maintained through the listening ear.
Reading: Jennifer Lynn Stoever: The Sonic Color Line. Race and the Cultural Politics of Listening (New York University Press, 2016)

11.11.2020, 16:00-17:30
Bárbara Maçães Costa, doctoral assistant and lecturer of the Teaching Unit U – Cartography at the EPFL’s Laboratory Basel (LABA), will present her lecture From Architectural Objects to Environmental Dialectics: Map, Threshold, and Type.
Reading: Blomley, N. (2003), Law, Property, and the Geography of Violence: The Frontier, the Survey, and the Grid. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 93: 121-141.

25.11.2020, 16:00-17:30
Silvia Balzan, architect, graphic designer, PhD candidate at the Cultural Anthropology Department of the University of Basel and a research assistant at the Visual Communication Institute of HGK FHNW Basel.
Lecture: Pancho Guedes and the Swiss Mission: ambivalent actors in late colonial Mozambique
Reading: Dunch, R. (2002), Beyond Cultural Imperialism: Cultural Theory, Christian Missions, and Global Modernity. History and Theory, 41: 301-325.

09.12.2020, 16:00-17:30
Khensani de Klerk, architectural designer and planner from Johannesburg, South Africa, currently reading an MPhil in Architecture and Urban Design (RIBA II) at The University of Cambridge with her research focusing on safe space for GBV survivors in Cape Town. She will present a lecture on Spatial storytelling: conduit and vessel.
Reading: Beebeejaun, Yasminah (2017). ‘Gender, Urban Space, and the Right to Everyday Life.’ Journal of Urban Affairs 39, no. 3: 323-34.