IRW Distinguished Lecture Series - Felicity D. Scott


Thursday, November 03, 2016, 04:30pm - 06:00pm

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Playing on Insecurities
This lecture will address Outlaw Territories: Environments of Insecurity/Architectures of Counter-insurgency, recently published by Zone Books (April 2106), outlining both its contents and its historical and contemporary stakes, and presenting some new research opened up in its wake.  Focused on the 1960s and 1970s, the book revisits an era when both architects and figures from the American counterculture sought to play a role in global environmental governance and the management of populations, asking how they might have assumed such a mantle and with it a certain moral and technocratic authority. It investigates how both architects and other players responded to, and how they were implicated within, a volatile historical period whose concerns remain all too familiar today: rising urban instabilities within both the “West” and the so-called developing world; environmental discourses mobilizing the rhetoric of emergency and planetary togetherness; Western panic over population growth in the Global South; rapid transformations in communication technologies and expanded forms of environmental control; increased militarism and forces of globalization; and rising claims to self-determination and environmental justice. Attending to the expanded matrix within which architecture operated, and continues to operate, I will speak to how and why the discourses, struggles, and conflicts of the period became institutionalized to the point of remaining all-too-familiar today, five decades later.

Ruth Dill Johnson Crockett Building, 162 Ryders Lane