Black Lives Matter Call for Work

Black Lives Matter is a dossier of texts and readings edited by Meredith TenHoor and Jonathan Massey with Sben Korsh.

To address the ethical demand posed by the Black Lives Matter movement, we are gathering ideas and resources for understanding architecture and urbanism in relation to African-American experiences of violence both systemic and individualized, as manifest most recently by the killings of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, and too many others. A range of colleagues in architecture and history are writing short original texts and/or preparing work in other media that reflect on how architects and scholars of the built environment can learn from the Black Lives Matter movement and contribute to the project of valuing and protecting black lives. Complemented by a list of readings and other resources, these pieces will draw on existing scholarship, spur future work on this topic, and support designers, scholars, and students in learning and teaching about it.

What does it mean to put black lives at the center of our thinking about architecture and its history? How do architecture and urban design contribute to violence against black people—in the streets, in mass incarceration, in the school-to-prison pipeline, and in other settings? How can the tools and knowledge of our disciplines contribute to making positive change? How might our individual architectural research become a resource for thought, conversation and action on this topic? Work on this topic could address mass incarceration, policing, segregation, biopolitics, spatial violence, and the relationship between contemporary cultures of violence and the history of urban planning, architecture, and urbanism.

Timeframe:

We hope to publish the dossier by late January 2015, with a deadline for full drafts by Wednesday, January 7.

Format:

We welcome essays of 1000–2000 words, as well as slideshows, annotated images or primary materials, maps, videos, thought exercises, teaching assignments, glossary entries, or original works in other web-compatible formats. Aggregate is a free, open-source online venue that publishes under Creative Commons protocols.

In addition, we welcome entries for a bibliography.

And independent of this dossier, we also welcome longer scholarly pieces for consideration through Aggregate’s normal open peer-review publication process.

To propose or submit a contribution, or to make a suggestion for our reading list, please email us at plots [at] we-aggregate.org or via one of the addresses below.

Meredith TenHoor, Associate Professor of Architecture
Pratt Institute, mtenhoor [at] pratt.edu

Jonathan Massey, Director of Architecture
California College of the Arts, jmassey [at] cca.edu