Telling Transnational Histories of Women in Architecture, 1960–2015

Karen Burns, Lori Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


This essay uses an emergent transnational research project — a global encyclopaedia of women in architecture — as a site for unsettling the terms, chronology, and geography of feminist histories of architecture. By locating feminist architectural history in multiple geographies and histories, feminist practice can attend to the specific geopolitics of architecture and knowledge. This project uses a crowd-sourced approach, rooted in local regional reference groups and writers, to facilitate a greater range of entries, voices, and expertise. Transnational histories are generated from difference and disseminate diverse models of architectural practice and lives. Biography is a central tool for providing these counter-narratives of architecture. In this essay feminist scholarship of the 1980s on women's lives provides a critical foundation for the current biographical turn in journalism and academia. Life writing has long been foundational to women's history writing, but contemporary biography, with its strategies of visibility, de-canonisation, and mobilisation around gender identity, also provides an affective politics for contempo-rary architectural feminism. The global turn in architectural history is enriched by an intersectional lens, capable of mapping the myriad geographies and differences of women's lives, and the precise contours of agency and oppression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalArchitectural Histories
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Architecture
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • History


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