Graduate Architecture

RESCHEDULED: Esra Akcan: Right-to-Heal: Architecture and Transitional Justice

Monday, October 5, 2020 6:30pm
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Meyerson Hall, 210 South 34th Street, Lower Gallery

Due to new guidelines for public gatherings issued by Penn in response to the coronavirus outbreak, this event was rescheduled to October 5 from its original date of March 18. Thank you for your understanding.

Esra Akcan is currently the 2019-2020 Frieda Miller Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. She is also an Associate Professor in the Department of Architecture and the Director of Institute for European Studies at Cornell University. Akcan received awards and fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies at Harvard University, Graham Foundation, American Academy in Berlin, UIC, Institute for Advanced Studies in Berlin, Clark Institute, Getty Research Institute, Canadian Center for Architecture, CAA, Mellon Foundation, DAAD and KRESS/ARIT. She is the author of Landfill Istanbul: Twelve Scenarios for a Global City (2004); Çeviride Modern Olan (2009); Architecture in Translation: Germany, Turkey and the Modern House (2012); Turkey: Modern Architectures in History (with S. Bozdoğan, 2012), and Open Architecture: Migration, Citizenship and Urban Renewal of Berlin-Kreuzberg by IBA 1984/87 (2018).

Akcan’s research on modern and contemporary architecture and urbanism foregrounds the intertwined histories of Europe and West Asia, and offers new ways to understand architecture’s global movement, as well as its complicit or constitutive role in global and social (in)justice. She completed her architecture degree at the Middle East Technical University in Turkey, and her Ph.D. and postdoctoral degrees at Columbia University in New York. Before coming to Cornell, she taught at UI-Chicago, Humboldt University in Berlin, Columbia University, New School, and Pratt Institute in New York, and METU in Ankara. As a scholar, she has published five books in two languages, guest edited three journal issues, and written around hundred-and-fifty articles and essays in multiple languages on critical and postcolonial theory, modern and contemporary architecture in West Asia and its diasporas in Europe, architectural photography, immigration, translation, globalization and global history.

Akcan’s book Architecture in Translation: Germany, Turkey and the Modern House advocates a commitment to a new culture of translatability from below and in multiple directions for truly cosmopolitan ethics and global justice. Her book Turkey: Modern Architectures in History (with Sibel Bozdoğan) is part of a series that aims at an inclusive survey of modern world architecture and is the first volume in any language to cover the entire 20th century in Turkey. Akcan’s new book Open Architecture: Migration, Citizenship and the Urban Renewal of Berlin-Kreuzberg defines open architecture as the translation of a new ethics of hospitality into design process. It exemplifies different inclinations towards open architecture (or the lack thereof) during the urban renewal of Berlin’s immigrant neighborhood, by giving voice not only to the established and cutting edge architects who were invited to build public housing here, but also to noncitizen residents. She has participated in exhibitions as an artist by carrying her research beyond writing to visual media.

This event is free and open to the public. Reception to follow.