Constructed Realities: Urban Identities and Landscape Representations
10th Annual Art History Graduate Student Symposium
Organized by the Rutgers University Art History Graduate Student Organization (AHGSO)
Friday, April 24, 2020
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
“The space in which we live, which draws us out of ourselves, in which the erosion of our lives, our time and our history occurs, the space that claws and gnaws at us, is also, in itself, a heterogeneous space. In other words, we do not live in a kind of void, inside of which we could place individuals and things.” – Michel Foucault, Of Other Spaces: Utopias and Heterotopias, 1967
Urbanization is a continuous process. It is a purposeful addition of architectural layers that lead to our modern built environment. With this concept in mind, we seek to convene scholars with critical approaches toward cities and landscapes.
Art historians and critical thinkers have long reflected on the nature of urban identity formation and the ways in which built environments and their representations shape culture. Thinking critically about the agencies behind built environments often reveals the stakes at play in historical contexts. In turn, these conversations allow us to better understand modern cities and the social relationships within them.
For instance, how do we craft personal and communal identities within our built environments? What aspects of the city are avoided or erased through these processes of identity creation? Considering wider frameworks, what roles do architecture and urban design play in the mediation between communities and ecological and climatic systems? To what extent do art and architecture interact with, and respond to, the natural environment, and in what ways does that interaction shape design and viewer experience?
The Rutgers University Art History Graduate Student Organization convened graduate students from a wide range of specialties across historical periods, geographical areas, and cultural, theoretical, and methodological perspectives to address these crucial questions.